Franklin junior honored for remarkable recovery from serious crash
Blake Dicken - Brady Award
Second chance to play
FRANKLIN, Ind. (WTHR) - Blake Dicken knows only one thing - competition.
Whether it's on the field or in the classroom, the Franklin Community High School junior sets the pace for his peers.
"My grandma tells me that all the time, that I inspire her. I just don't really know what to say when she says that," Blake said.
He plays football, basketball and baseball for the Grizzly Cubs, but his athletic career nearly ended in January 2015, when a gruesome car crash left him unconscious and badly injured from head to toe.
"In the accident, I actually, like, I hit it on something in the car. I presume it, like, peeled open, I guess," Blake said. "My kneecap was hanging out."
Among the first people to arrive at the scene of the crash was Blake's father, Paul.
"It's a night I'll never forget, pulling up on that accident scene. It was the worst feeling," Paul said. "They say you don't wish that on anybody and that's a parent's worst nightmare."
Blake's injuries were so traumatic, he had to be airlifted to the hospital.
"I saw my baby boy laying there. Not such a baby anymore, but...he was hooked up to all kinds of machines and laying there and I didn't know if I was ever going to be able to hear his voice again. It was scary," Dicken said.
Blake had suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken neck, lacerated knee and a tear to one of the major arteries in his leg. Emergency room doctors were unsure if he would pull through, but the heart of the competition beat louder than any medical machine.
A week after the crash, Blake was sitting up in bed and speaking with his family.
"I set my mind to it. I mean, with the help from everyone else, I was able to do it and I thank God for it every day, too," Blake said. "Thank God for giving me a second chance at life."
A few weeks after regaining consciousness, Blake left the hospital. He recovered fast enough to rejoin his JV baseball team for the final game of the season.
"I finally got a chance to play baseball at the last game of the season for JV...for JV baseball, got a chance to play and it was awesome," he said. "It's pretty crazy to think about sometimes, that going from not being able to walk or do much and, like, I was playing baseball five months later, I think. That's crazy to think about sometimes."
Since returning to school, Blake, has made a complete recovery and returned to playing football and basketball at Franklin Community High School. He's also playing outfield on the varsity baseball team.
Blake and three others were honored Thursday night at the 2017 Brady Awards.