"They didn't reassure me at all, but honestly that may have been because they weren't in a position to," she said. "I knew it wasn't good, though, because Pat was completely limp when they took him off on the stretcher in the medevac."

He was flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with what were described as life-threatening injuries.

"There was that feeling of not knowing what we were going to get … your mind starts fearing the worst," she said.

After meeting with doctors and seeing her son roughly two hours after the crash, the prognosis wasn't exactly positive. "They basically said 'The next 24 hours will tell,' " she recalled.


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That night, roughly 40 friends and family came to the hospital to show their support. With Moore still unconscious, visitors weren't allowed in his room, although that didn't stop two of his best friends, Brad Martinelli and Ryan Miller.

"Ryan Miller and I snuck in … we had to see him," said Martinelli, a soccer teammate of Moore's since middle school. "It's hard to talk about, really. He was lying there all strapped up and you could barely see his face with the bandages and the tubes going down his throat.

"The worst part was there was nothing we could do."

Flynn, who was at the hospital that first night and nearly every other night for the next couple weeks, started playing the "what if" game. "You start thinking, 'If only I had called him into my office to talk,' … anything that would have kept him from being there at that moment."

It was an agonizingly long first 72 hours.

Hooked up to a ventilator, Moore was taken off medication every couple hours to undergo deep stimulus designed to elicit some kind of physical response — things like screaming in his ear or applying firm pressure on different parts of his body.

For those first three days, however, there was no response.

'Little blessings'

When you want something bad enough, sometimes the mind will play tricks on you.

Nancy Moore, who never left her son's side in the days immediately following the accident, recalls one such instance during those initial periods of deep stimulus.

"You're sitting there looking for something, anything," she said. "One time I thought he moved his hand, but the nurses said 'No, that was an involuntary reaction.' "

The fourth day, though, there was unmistakable progress.

"He finally wiggled a toe," she said. "It was something so small, but at that moment it was the biggest thing in the world."

Slowly, but surely, the milestones kept coming. Opening his eyes, shaking his head, raising his arm, waving, giving thumbs up, sitting up — all "little blessings," according to Nancy Moore.

By Feb. 28, a week after the accident, he was moved out of shock trauma and into the rehabilitation facility at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.

He began communicating again, started physical therapy and by the second week in March his memory started to return.