Irish linebacker Spond makes incredible journey back to football field

"Each morning to just get on the field is a gift to me," Irish linebacker Danny Spond explains.

Last Saturday--The Irish stuffed Stanford to improve to 6-and-oh. The celebration was epic and no one cherished it more than Spond.

"That was just unbelievable to me," Spond explained this week. "Not only because we fought so hard all game and came out with the victory and played like a team but also because of everything I faced and had gone through leading up to this point. It's just unbelievable to me."

Spond's journey to 6-0 began in August. A projected starting linebacker, Spond stood out at practice. But just days in---everything changed.

"First report was a concussion--so we will follow up with that," Brian Kelly said on August 8th.

The follow up showed it wasn't a concussion at all. But the problem was--no one knew what it was. And the situation was not good.

"Most scared I've ever been in my life--not being able to move half my body and still not what it was--was just horrifying," Spond says looking back. "At that moment I was just focused on trying to walk again and feel the left side of my body. Football wasn't even a question."

Manti Te'o remembers the day Spond got hurt well.

"Dan Fox and I went to go visit him in the hospital," Te'o says. "It didn't look too good. We were expecting the worst."

For 10 days, the Notre Dame football family prayed for an answer.

"Stroke was a real big possibility," Spond says of what doctors were telling him. "I heard there might be a tumor that could have caused things."

"This is one of those that will probably require a little bit more testing before we can give you a definitive answer of this is what it was," Kelly said on August 11th.

Spond's next step was a trip to the University of Michigan to see a neurologist. And finally he got the answer.

"After constant tests and after everything was taking into consideration, it was marked down as migraines," Spond said.

He could smile.

Spond was given a daily medication. His body quickly healed - and less than a month later he was told he could play again.

"Once things finally started coming back and I started healing from everything, the fear kind of ran away," Spond says.

Remarkably, Spond played his first game of 2012 against Michigan State. A week later, he played Michigan--the school that helped heal him. Spond and the Irish celebrated a milestone win.

"The blessings from God that he's poured upon me and our team are just unbelievable," Spond said after the Michigan game. "Four weeks ago, five weeks ago to whatever its been, from where I was to where I am. It's unbelievable. I can't even describe it."

Spond wrote a new chapter to his impropbable story this past Saturday when he intercepted a pass in the final seconds to seal the victory for the Irish.

It was yet another reason to celebrate.


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