HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A new chapter in Samar Lemons' recovery story began Wednesday when the injured high school football player was flown from Richmond to Atlanta.
The Henrico High School senior fractured his neck playing football earlier this month.
Two weeks after the injury, the 18-year-old student will begin rehab at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
"He'll start off in the ICU ward and then they'll transfer him down to physical therapy," Samar's mother Dana Armstead-Guy said.
Armstead-Guy said the family has tried to stop focusing on why this happened to Samar and instead shifted their focus to what's next for him.
"We are going to miss him. They are very cautious about visitors, especially with COVID-19, so we will be in touch with social workers who will let us know when we can visit," she said. "His dad is going down with him. I'll be here with his younger siblings but we will just get through it."
Prayers, calls, visits, and GoFundMe donations have not only supported Samar but provided a morale boost.
"He is now aware of the severity of his incident. So, he has been a little down," Armstead-Guy said. "Every day that I come in, he's asking me to pull up my social media. So he can see the comments and the likes and that has been lifting him up tremendously. So I thank you all for your words, they are actually encouraging him."
The family said it has been leaning on their faith in God and each other to help Samar get through the challenging days ahead.
"This is his first journey into adulthood," his mom shared. "As a family, we are just going to have our faith built up and hope that he, as a man is getting a better relationship with God and having faith and trusting in Him."
The family's prayer now is for Samar to improve enough to come off of the ventilator.