Teen injured in snowboarding accident graduates high school



DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County family once told to prepare for a teen’s death is now celebrating his remarkable recovery.

Thomas Sowell had four probes in his swollen, bleeding brain at Grady Hospital after a head injury. He was left in coma after he slammed his head into ice while snowboarding. It happened during a Boy Scout trip in North Carolina.

“I remember hearing the words ‘imminent death’ several times,” Sowell’s mother, Virginia, said.

Two and half years later, the teen is graduating from Lakeside High School with a 3.6 GPA. He has also earned his Eagle Scout rank. Sowell has no memory of the accident.

“I have one friend that said I was going too fast; another said I was going perfect speed,” he told Channel 2’s Linda Stouffer.

This fall, he’s headed for Georgia Southern University, where he plans to study biomedical engineering. He chose the subject in part because of his care at Grady and rehab at the Shepherd Center.

Now, Sowell is developing a film about the center’s therapists and staff for his Eagle Scout project.

Sowell’s father keeps a photo of his son at the hospital on his desk to stay focused on the positive.

“It was a nanosecond when life changed, so let's take advantage of enjoying every day,” Jim Sowell said.

Channel 2 Action News

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