‘I’m just thankful that I’m still here:’ Bruceville-Eddy High School student not supposed to survive post-birth, now he’s JV quarterback

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 1:21 PM CDT
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BRUCEVILLE-EDDY, Texas (KWTX) - Central Texas high school football is finally here, and, while winning is a goal for a Bruceville-Eddy junior varsity quarterback, he plays each game with gratitude for being alive.

It was a rough start for Braxton Jones.

“My blood pressure shot through the roof and he (Braxton) stopped growing,” Ashley Smith, Braxton’s mom, said when discussing her challenging pregnancy.

Doctors delivered Braxton Jones at 26 weeks, about 13 weeks premature.

“He was like the size of a Beanie Baby,” Smith said. “We have a picture of him next to a Beanie Baby and they look identical.”

Doctors told her, if he survived, there could be major complications.

But, after several surgeries and tests, Braxton’s results came back completely normal. After 96 days in the NICU, Braxton was growing and ready to go home.

Now, Braxton is excited to start his freshman year in high school as the JV quarterback. He’s healthy and leading a high school football team.

“It’s been pretty cool to watch him get out there and do something that I never expected he would be able to do,” Smith said. “It’s just, when we started, that was never anything that I ever imagined.”

Braxton realizes this gift and takes that gratefulness on the field with him.

“I’m just thankful that I’m still here, and I want to thank God for everything that he said,” Braxton said. “It’s just awesome.”

Braxton and Bruceville-Eddy JV team kicked off their season Thursday evening. Braxton said he’s hoping for a great first season with many wins.

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