DALLAS — He may have lost the ability to move, but Molina High School quarterback Diondre Preston hasn't lost the will to recover.
It's now been nearly three weeks since the 17-year-old athlete was paralyzed from the neck down during a football game. Some question whether he'll be able to walk again.
Not Diondre... and not his mother, who is talking publicly about her son's injury and long recovery for the first time to News 8.
Diondre's final football game came September 30 against Pinkston High School. He scored two touchdowns and was driving for a third when the unthinkable happened.
Maya Preston now cares full-time for her injured son.
"It's hard to see him laying up like that, because as a mom you just want to take your kid, put a Band-Aid on him, and send him back out to play," she said. "This is something I can't put a Band-Aid on."
The hit that Diondre took damaged his spinal cord and the nerves around it. Since the accident, he has had no feeling or movement in his arms or legs.
"I think he understands, but he's a 17-year-old kid, and he still wants to do the things," Preston said.
Diondre Preston has always had high hopes. The star quarterback — who was named Homecoming king by his classmates — was fielding scholarship offers from colleges across the country.
Now the offers come instead from friends, fellow students and even perfect strangers who are helping however they can.
Earlier this month, students at South Oak Cliff High School collected money in a shoebox and gave it Maya Preston during a game.
"I just want him back like he was," she said. "He was a happy kid, time of his life, doing what he loved... I guess that's what any mama wants — their kid to be happy."
Diondre's doctors say his recovery will be a long, painful process
"To move his arms, he's going to need the function of the C5 nerve," said Dr. Lance Bruce, associate medical director for spinal cord injury services at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation. "If that will happen — or when that will happen — it's impossible to prognosticate right now."
They can patch Diondre up, but the rest is up to him... and fate.
If you would like to make a donation to help with Diondre Preston's recovery, there's a fund set up at Texas Capital Bank, 2000 McKinney Avenue, Dallas.