THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- Thanksgiving is a reminder of both tragedy and a bit of triumph for the family of Grant Milton.
"There's always hope," said Grant's father, Miles. "There's always a way out. There's always a way forward. Deep faith is what's held us as a family moving forward in this tragedy."
The Grant they know today isn't the same as The Woodlands Highlanders football star of two years ago, but they are grateful he is even here with them.
Milton suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing in a state playoff game in Waco against Austin Bowie.
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It's a miracle he survived. Today he lives in a group home where he has around the clock care, paired with outpatient therapy.
"He's much more alert now so he makes more eye contact," said Miles. "He's engaged with people. He can't speak, and he still can't move his limbs, so communication is pretty rudimentary."
His family says his love for football still shows in his eyes.
On Saturday, he watched the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry surrounded by family.
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"We're in the room for hours with him today and we're talking," Miles said. "He's happy to see us. He was fully engaged on watching that football game today, which couldn't make us happier."
Grant has been in a testing program with TIRR Memorial Hermann and Conroe ISD to learn how to use eye gaze assisted devices to move a cursor on a computer device to speak for him.
His family says they appreciate the support they still receive two years after his injury, and they are hopeful one day Grant can say "thank you" himself.
"It doesn't just lift him up," Miles said. "It lifts all of us up."
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Grant Milton continues recovery 2 years after football injury in The Woodlands