Photos Show Peewee Football Player's Heroic Comeback


After his peewee football jersey was retired in 2012, Deven Jackson thought he was out of the game forever. Now, after two long years of surgery and rehabilitation, he’s back in.

Deven, 10, had to quit the sport he loves when he contracted a severe case of meningitis, according to The Patriot-News. Doctors amputated his legs below the knees to save his life.

Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com
Photo: MARK PYNES | [email protected]

Still, the then 7-year-old boy kept his positive spirit. Only two days after his amputations, he said he was ready to get back to football, according to the video below. Soon after, he got his first set of prosthetic legs and completely relearned to walk. Running, however, was a different story.

Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com
Photo: MARK PYNES | [email protected]

It wasn’t long before he was introduced to carbon fiber running blades, according to Fox News. These are a lighter prosthetic, specially designed for running. He’s been on the field in blades since June after a generous donor gave him a set that he or she no longer needed. Each of the prosthetic runners costs between $5,000 and $10,000, Fox reported.

Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com
Photo: MARK PYNES | [email protected]

Deven’s willingness to get back on the gridiron is admirable, but his body is still playing catch-up. His mother told The Patriot-News that he’s exerting significantly more energy than the others on the field.

In addition to his body having to get on board, the CFA Football League needed some convincing as well. Assistant Commissioner Dave Bickel spent nine months researching, talking with doctors, lawyers and referees to make sure Deven met all the necessary requirements to play, according to ABC 27.

Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com
Photo: MARK PYNES | [email protected]

Above all else, the league had to ensure Deven’s blades would not be a danger to him or anyone else. To meet this requirement, his father, Dave Jackson, fashioned some padding and cleats for the blades, which take up to two hours to put on.

Deven’s former coach, Justin Henne, vouched for the boy’s work ethic on the field.

“He’s not looking at it as a hindrance,” he told The Patriot-News. “He knows he has to work harder than others, but he wants to do it.”

Photos courtesy of MARK PYNES | [email protected]

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