LORENA (October 3, 2012)--Hundreds lined Gibraltar Street Wednesday afternoon in Lorena to give a surprise homecoming to a 14-year-old boy who's been recovering from a traumatic brain injury since March.
Classmates of Tanner Underwood were let out of school early to greet the teen, who's been in the hospital for 6 months.
In March, Tanner was in a car with his family headed to watch a Baylor basketball game.
However, that ride was cut short when their vehicle was rear ended on Interstate 35.
The accident left Tanner with traumatic brain injuries.
He was flown to a hospital, but wouldn't leave until October.
"It was probably every parent's worst nightmare," neighbor and friend Tiffani Harris said.
"The brain injury was so severe, they weren't sure if he was ever going to come out of it."
Since the accident, neighbors and friends such as Harris, have worked around the clock to try and help the family anyway they can.
"Everyone was asking what can we do? How can we help? How can we let the Underwood's know we're behind them and that we support them?" Harris said.
As Tanner's health improved, he was cleared to go home.
But before he could get to his driveway Wednesday afternoon, he was met with a surprise homecoming put on by his classmates and members of the Lorena community.
"Everybody's just ready to surround him with love and care. We just want to let them know we're going to walk this road with him," Harris said.
When Tanner was wheeled out of the car, he received a standing ovation.
Right now, he cannot walk and his ability to speak is limited.
But before going inside, he raised his hand and waved to the crowd.
It was a sign that this young man had overcome, and will continue to with time.
"It's a big fight for someone of his age to go through," Harris said.
"He's showing a lot of courage, strength, an maturity as he continues to push forward and recover."
Donations are being accepted to help with Tanner’s continued medical care and therapy at any Extraco Bank.
To contribute, ask about the Tanner Underwood Benefit Account.