(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
This time last year Camren Gamble would not have believed he would be looking forward, or even be anxious, to get back to school. The 17-year old Manila High School junior returned to classes last week for a couple hours a day and is looking forward to getting back to a full schedule. He is quick to thank his family, friends and teachers for their support.
Camren and his mother, Judy Taber, were in an automobile accident on Aug. 14. Mrs. Taber suffered injuries to her leg and Camren had multiple injuries and was in critical condition.
All of the bones in his face were broken, he lost three of his toes, had bleeding and bruising in the brain, broken pelvic bone, punctured lung and other injuries. He was on life support at The Med in Memphis for five days following the accident.
He spent five weeks in The Med before going to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Jonesboro. He is now at home in Manila and going to rehab as an outpatient where he is receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy.
"I want to say thank you to everyone for all they did for me," Camren said. "I appreciate life, family and friends every day. My girlfriend Angela Pearson stood by me daily. My Aunt Ruby Schrader was there with me the whole time in Memphis. My family and friends were there to encourage me."
Camren turned 17 on Sept. 13 during his stay at The Med. He was honored with a birthday/welcome home party on Saturday at the First United Pentecostal Church New Life Center.
"It was a wonderful party and made my homecoming even more special," Camren said. "I am tired of hospitals."
"He is one of the bravest young men we know," Manila School paraprofessional Donna Walls said. "We knew he would not give up and would fight. He is a hard worker and we are proud to welcome him back to school."
Camren is the son of Jimmy Gamble and stepson of Douglas Taber. He has a stepbrother, Michael Clifton, 18.
"It has been a difficult time for the family but prayers have been answered," his grandmother, Faye Hitchcock said. "It is good to have him home."