Palisade senior running back makes remarkable recovery

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PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO News)-- Senior Caden Sparks has been through pain that most don’t teens don’t ever experience.

“My nerve was broke, I had internal bleeding, I had some destruction to my rotator cuff and my deltoid muscle,” says Caden.

Sparks, a starting running back for Palisade, made a touchdown-saving tackle during a game last season. But he took a hard hit.

“I went down to tackle him, but I had my arms out and my head left, and he just directly contacted my shoulder,” says Caden.

His head and neck were stretched to the point that it tore the Brachial Plexus nerve from the muscles in his shoulder and arm. He would have no feeling or movement from his elbow into his shoulder.

“As a parent you just want to take care of your kid and make sure he’s alright because this injury was his future,” says Caden’s father, Jim.

Doctors had told Caden he would never play football again, and that his arm would never be the same.

“They had never seen this type of injury in football. They had mostly seen this in huge car accidents,” says Caden.

But Caden wasn’t giving up hope. After doing physical therapy for hours a day, training and rehabilitating his arm he was able to make a recovery.

“My arm being paralyzed meant there was no more football for me and I can’t live a life without football so I was like 'that’s not going to happen that’s not me',” says Caden.

His recovery has been remarkable.... with full movement in his arm and still the starting running back for Palisade for the bulldogs. His dad…. amazed by his son’s journey.

“To watch him run on that field, I mean, it’s just special,” says Jim.

Caden has been named player of the game twice, he has 612 all purpose yards, 344 rushing yards, 110 receiving yards, 137 kickoff return yards just to name a few of his accomplishments.

His goal is to play in college and continue following his dreams.

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