Jersey Shore Football Player’s Long Path to Recovery

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- A community rallied around a high school football player injured in practice last year and now, for the first time, we're hearing from him about his gratitude for that support and his hard work to recover.

Caleb Leone was in the hospital for months after that injury last summer. The 18 year old from Lycoming County is in rehab and putting in quite an effort.

A positive attitude, repetition, and a lot of support -- that's what Caleb's parents tell us has helped their son since the injury last summer. We first told you about Caleb in August and since then, the young man and his family have been on a road to recovery.

Three times a week, you can find Caleb working with his occupational therapist at the outpatient rehab center at Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

"He really has made so much progress," said Caleb's mother Danielle Leone. "Even the activity where he was just throwing the ball to his dad, go back to February and he wasn't really even able to throw a ball."

It's been nearly a year since Caleb was badly hurt during football practice in Jersey Shore. Caleb suffered a brain injury and a stroke.

"I remember back to one of the staff members telling us, you know, hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Danielle said.

Caleb's family has been by his side through it all. After months in a hospital in Hershey, Caleb was able to go home in February. We were there as the community welcomed him back to Jersey Shore.

"We really wouldn't have been able to come as far as we have with everyone's support and the prayers," said Danielle.

Occupational therapist Meghan Sandonato has been helping Caleb regain the ability to do everyday tasks such as standing and sitting on his own.

"It's a time of transition for any 18 year old, so this has been more of a tumultuous transition than most people would anticipate, but I think he is handling it remarkably well," said Sandonato.

Caleb's family says along with mobility, his personality has begun shining through.

"I tell him all the time, you know, 'I know this is a hard journey but you have lifted people's spirits and you have given us a whole different perspective, so, you know, you just have to keep going.'" Danielle said.

This Friday is Jersey Shore's prom. Caleb won't be attending but he plans to get dressed up so he can take pictures with his sister.

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