Local high school athlete learns to walk again after an April crash

Posted at 4:31 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 19:00:51-04

He was a standout on the football field and helped Bishop Neumann win a state basketball championship last season.  Today, the soon to be high school senior is learning how to walk again. 

“I think I had spent two weeks at Madonna before I took my first steps again.  It wasn’t much, it was like 50 feet the first time, and then I just took off from there” said Brandon Breunig. 

In April, 17-year-old Brandon Breunig of Wahoo rolled his car several times while traveling on an unfamiliar gravel road.  He says he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt because of a cast he had on his shoulder.  Breunig says he’ll never make that mistake again. 

“I guess you kind of just live with the one choice.  It's not going to change me too much, it's just a little bump in the road,” said Breunig.

Breunig was taken in a medical helicopter to Bryan West Hospital.  He had fractured a vertebra, his tailbone and had broken a few ribs. 

After a week in the hospital, he spent 11 weeks at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.  At a lengthy 6’6” Madonna seemed like the perfect fit. 

“Surprisingly enough all the equipment they had fit me,” said Breunig.

Breunig is now at home recovering and comes to physical therapy twice a week.  The teen will have to miss his senior football season.  But, he won’t allow himself to be sidelined the entire school year. 

"I want to play basketball this year,” said Breunig.

Breunig still needs braces and a walker to get around and has a long road to recovery.  But, his parents Steve and Jill say whenever their son sets his mind to something, he gets it done. 

"Last weekend he wanted to show his pig at the county fair, he did that goal, so hopefully he can get this one,” said Brandon’s mom Jill.

“If he works hard at it, which he will have to do, I think he can make it, I hope he can,” said Brandon’s dad Steve.

Basketball season starts at the beginning of December.  Brandon says he is going to work as hard as he can to be ready.