LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Just over two months ago, a senior on the Star City football team collapsed and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Now, Zack Towers remains in a coma, but his family said he's making progress.
On a crisp, autumn evening in November, the stands were packed with fans cheering on the last regular season game of the year. Then, ahorrific silence took over as a player collapsed in the middle of a huddle.
Then the moment came whenJim Towers realized that was his son.Two months later, he and his family are still hoping for the best.
"It's been very hard. It's a very unique situation we've found ourselves in. Having a child go through this is very difficult," said Zack's dad, Jim Towers.
Zack Towers, a senior middle linebacker for the Star City Bulldogs, suffered a seizure during the team's Nov. 1 game against Crossett.
Towers spent nearly two months in critical care at Arkansas Childrens' Hospital, but this Christmas, the Towers family got an incredible gift. Zack was discharged and taken to his mother's house in Little Rock.
"He is still unfortunately in a coma, but he is doing things that before they said he'd never do," Towers said."There's little things that we see day by day that we see him doing that we didn't notice the day before. It's very reassuring to us."
Zack's dad still lives in Star City, but makes thedrive, which is longer than an hour,every day to see his son.
"I think if I just started my truck and pointed it north it would drive itself up here. The distance is starting to become exhausting but there's no place I'd rather be than right here with him," said Towers.
Towers said the family's faith is keeping them strong.
"We know that God does have this situation and that he's still in the miracle-working business, and we certainly see one going on here."
Community support is also keeping the Towers' family positive.
"The community support has been overwhelming. We have gotten stuff from people out of state, prayers, well wishes, support, and things to help. We have gotten hits from all 50 states and from 15 to 16 foreign countries at this point."
They're also getting a lot of encouragement on social media.
"The 'Prayers for Zack' link on Facebook is now up over 22,000 likes on it. Just the other day, I put an update on it and within in two hours there were over 3,000 likes and 172 comments. That's in two hours! So there are a lot of people that are still tuning in to this."
Zack has an older and younger brother, both who are dealing with the circumstances in their own way.
"The oldest kid, Ty, it hit him. There are things he wishes he had said to Zack before this happened. It's also really brought him closer. It's also brought out more of a biblical side of Ty than I've ever seen before. And Jon Taylor [the youngest], it's pretty much affected him the same way also."
The entire family feels Zack will soon wake up and be shocked by the love and support.
"He's going to be totally overwhelmed, just like all of us are. I do feel Zack will have the opportunity to tell it himself when it's all said and done. I feel if God was going to take him, He would've back when the injury first occurred when everything was really bad and when the outlook was not favorable at that time."
The situation hasn't been easy for the Towers family.
"It's a situation now where the family, when the nursing care isn't here, is doing it on our own. At night, that gets to be pretty heavy and it's just us family members taking care of him through the night."
But, they're optimistic about the future.
"It is difficult, it is trying. He's our son and we're here for him. If it takes a long time for him to open those eyes, that's just more time for prayer at the bedside. We're in it for the long haul."
The family isn't sure what caused Zack's seizure that night. His parents said Zack suffered a concussion two weeks prior, but team doctors cleared him to play. At the time Zack said he felt fine. The seizure was caused by a brain bleed leading to emergency surgery the night of the incident.