Caleb Freeman was once the fastest runner at his Oklahoma high school. But after a car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, he was told he might never run again.
This week, the former track star proved them wrong — and became high school royalty too.
Freeman, a senior at Newcastle High School, was voted homecoming king by his classmates on Friday, according to CNN affiliate KFOR.
It was just the latest achievement for Freeman, who completed his first race on Tuesday since the December 2017 accident that forever changed his life.
After the wreck, the station reported that Freeman was paralyzed and in a coma for weeks, with his friends and family unsure of what lay ahead for him.
Since then, the athlete has made a remarkable recovery.
Freeman returned to school in the fall of 2018 and eventually regained the strength to walk, KFOR reported. He rejoined the cross-country team as an assistant coach this year and just this past week, he came back as a runner.
“They said I would never run again, but God had other plans,” Freeman told KFOR.
Freeman completed the 5K race in 51 minutes and 50 seconds, KFOR said. In a heartwarming show of solidarity, his teammates circled back after they completed the race to cross the finish line with Freeman.
“This time last year he was in a wheelchair. He was using a walker,” his father Jeremy Freeman told KFOR. “Here we are a year later. Imagine where he’ll be in another year. It’s incredible.”