By Shantell Parrish
Photo by Jodi Radford
The Sky View High football team enjoyed a dominating run through the regular season and the first two rounds of postseason play. It’s a ride on which offensive guard Brennan Radford almost lost his chance to participate as an accident left No. 67 at the Salt Lake Burn Center for almost a month this past summer.
It happened Memorial Day of his junior year, as Radford found himself hanging out at a friend’s home, where they were planning on roasting marshmallows in the backyard. All was well until he went to light the fire with some gasoline.
According to Radford, there was some gas on the outside of the tank and got too close to the fire. As a result, the tank ignited and blew up, immediately scorching more than 17 percent of his body with third-degree burns.
His friend’s father rushed Radford to the Logan Regional Hospital Emergency Room. From there paramedics drove him by ambulance to the Burn Center at the University of Utah, where he stayed for a grueling, pain-ridden three weeks.
While there, he received a visit from Sky View head football coach, Craig Anhder, along with a few teammates. Anhder looked at him seriously and asked, “You’re going to be back by July 27th, right? Cause that’s when we need ya.”
He smiled, like it was a joke, but that’s not how Radford chose to take it. He took his coach’s words to heart, determined to be back with his team by that date. With the off-season passing by, Radford used every minute to strengthen his skin.
July 26, a day before the target date, doctors delivered the bad news. They thought his skin wasn’t stable enough to allow him to play. That devastated Radford because football is his passion–it’s what he loves to do.
Instead of letting the news ruin his senior year, he decided if he worked hard enough and had a strong support system, he could achieve his goal of playing his last year of high school. Radford also credits his teammates for where he is today.
Throughout his recovery, they had his back. When he needed them most, they supported him while he was in the hospital and also helped him through the workouts. Every day he performed rehab stretches to keep the new skin from tightening up and keep up with the workouts as much as possible.
It wasn’t just his team, Radford’s family and friends stood by his side as well. He valued that most. His support group helped him through the hard spots and the only reason he was able to come back and he says they are the reason he was able to make it back.
Radford’s greatest achievement happened his senior year, and it didn’t even happen in a game. It happened the first day he stepped onto the practice field on August 18, after being told he had little chance of doing so again.
Though the burn injuries were devastating, Radford’s attitude changed everything. Bren Radford has definitely proven that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.