Jake Hudson a ‘miracle’ at defensive end for Tesoro
Jake Hudson has spent his life beating the odds.
If you ask him, he’ll tell you his entire life is a miracle.
At the age of four, he had a brain tumor removed which cost him the vision in his right eye.
The loss of vision never stopped him from his athletic goals.
For Hudson, his sport was football. In his youth days, he wore goggles on the field to protect any potential injury to his his left eye.
The football field was a place he could escape whatever may have been going on around him and just focus on the game.
At Tesoro High School, he excelled and started every game last season as a junior.
During the offseason following his junior year, however, tragedy struck.
Hudson’s life was nearly snatched from beneath his 6-foot-4 frame.
He was out with teammates in Dana Point on a cliff overlooking the harbor when the ground came out from underneath him.
"The ground just fell," Hudson said. "That’s basically all that happened as far as I can remember."
He fell 50-feet.
Hudson was "in and out" of consciousness but he was still alive to the amazement of everyone.
Hudson needed surgery to repair his pelvis. He suffered a fractured back, a broken wrist, and head injuries.
Six screws and a plate were inserted into his hip and 15 stitches in his head.
He was hospitalized for nearly two weeks …. wheelchair bound, he was homeschooled for eight weeks.
No longer needing the wheelchair and assisted by the aide of a walker at home, Hudson then returned to school.
That’s when the hard part began.
"I had no strength and no stability, at all, on my right side," he said.
Walking was painful.
Regaining normal functionality would be hard enough but Hudson’s goals were beyond that.
It took just two days for Hudson to lie in the bed and not think about making a return to the football field.
His first two days in the hospital Hudson said "I was just hoping I would live."
After that he set his sights on Friday nights in the fall.
"I knew I was going to get back out there," Hudson said. "I just was not going to let it happen. My senior year, I was definitely going to find a way back out there somehow."
The road to recovery was not an easy one. There was mountains of physical therapy — Hudson went four days a week for 60-90 minutes per day.
Once spring ball started Hudson, surprisingly, was back on the field with his teammates although extremely limited.
"Just jogging around –basically jogging through the drills," he said.
By the time fall camp began for the Titans, Hudson was able to do everything, although, he admits he was kept out of contact drills to start.
"Probably two weeks before the first game I felt (like) ‘Ok, I’m feeling good now. I’m feeling like myself again,’" he said.
Hudson’s starting at defensive end and not limited at all by the accident.
As he was subjected to a hospital bed, fortunate to be alive, he made a goal to return to the football field for his senior season.
He’s done so and in the process, has not taken one snap for granted.
"How I view life definitely changed that day," Hudson said. "I don’t take anything for granted anymore and just know that it really is a blessing everyday to be alive.
"I think it’s pretty crazy how you can live through (a brain tumor) and then to have another event in your life happen like this, yeah, I’d say I’m a miracle."