Lincoln Vipers surprise 12-year-old patient at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 8:35 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Vipers are Nebraska’s first youth-select football team in history, but their coach doesn’t want that to be their own legacy. Friday, the boys learned what it really means to be a teammate.

Nash Lindberg is pretty much your average 12-year-old boy.

“I like to golf and play basketball and hang out with my friends,” Lindberg said.

But, after an accident at a friend’s house at the beginning of August, Nash’s story is anything but ordinary. He’s now recovering from a spinal cord injury.

“I can feel my legs, but I just have to get my legs stronger so I can walk,” Lindberg said.

Nash is from Kansas, but came to Nebraska for therapy at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals’ Lincoln Campus.

While he should be able to walk again, for the time being, Lindberg is being kept from his other love, football.

“I was supposed to start with pads, and the accident happened on that Friday, when pads was supposed to start that next Monday,” Lindberg said.

Even though he can’t play, a local group wanted to make sure he’s still part of a team. The Lincoln Vipers surprised Lindberg outside Madonna with a drive-by parade, homemade signs, and some gifts.

“I heard his story, and I looked at my son, and all these boys, because we have 29 young men about that age and I couldn’t imagine what the parents are going through,” said Vipers head coach Aaron Wilkason. “He had to leave his friends and his family and teachers behind so we thought we’d show some team support. He can be part of our team.”

Wilkason said it’s important to show his team that it’s just as important who you are off the field as you are on the field.

“I also wanted to show them, not everyday is guaranteed, and you have to go out there, do the best you can with what you can, and win the day,” Wilkason said. “Nash is out here doing his best, being a fighter and being strong, and if he can get through what he’s getting through, we can be strong when we hit that field.”

The Vipers start their season in just a few days, and when they do, they will have “Nash Strong” logos on their helmets. Wilkason said he’s also officially adding Lindberg to the roster as #30, and an honorary captain.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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