"Every day I went back, there was something new," Martinelli said.

Moore started home schooling sessions at Mt. Washington March 10 and regained a full diet three days later.

Progress, though, didn't come without a price. Being an athlete, he says the area he naturally worked the hardest at was making positive strides physically.

To do that, safety precautions had to be taken every step of the way.

Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

"Once I finally got out of the wheelchair, they basically put a leash on me," Moore said. "It was this belt you click around your waist and it has a rope off to the side that they hold to stabilize you so you don't fall. I hated that thing … I wanted to do whatever I could to get out of it."

By March 16, the walking belt was gone.

Moore says, aside from his own internal drive, the outpouring of support that surrounded him did wonders. His hospital room was filled with cards, notes and posters that seemed to come in daily from all different areas of the community.

"The amazing thing was that it wasn't just people from the Marriotts Ridge community sending things in … it was stuff from schools all over the county," Nancy Moore said.

By the second to last week in March, plans were being made for Pat to be discharged from the hospital. And on March 28, he got to go home. (The other two teenagers injured in the accident also recovered.)

"We were initially told that it would be a minimum of 12 weeks before he could go home," Nancy said. "They were all saying he was a miracle."

In a familiar setting, Pat was able to start piecing his life back together even quicker. After being home schooled throughout April, he was back in school at Marriotts Ridge by mid-May.

'Desperate to go back'

"He was desperate to go back," Nancy said. "I remember in rehab, early on when he was still in the wheelchair, I told him 'Don't worry, we have all the time in the world to get through this.' He said, 'No, I don't. I want to graduate with my friends.' "

As summer rolled around and some of the physical traits that had made Moore one of the county's top goalies began returning, thoughts of getting back on the field became more and more prevalent. And considering both his parents, Nancy and Stephen, come from a sports background, it was important to them that he be able to explore all his options.

The Howard County Public School system requires that a doctor medically clear each athlete before they are allowed to play. The decision for Moore ultimately was put into the hands of Crutchfield, who also works with athletes from the National Football League and Major League Soccer that have sustained severe head trauma.

Crutchfield ordered a CT scan, which revealed the devastating news. A large number of nerves in Moore's brain had been permanently severed during the accident, meaning that he can not withstand another blow to the head "without much more damage or disability," his mother said.

All contact sports, including soccer, were off the table.

Looking at Moore today, one would never know he'd been in an accident.

There are no scars — the two cuts on his face healed while he was in the hospital — and for the most part he moves around like he did before.

Yet, as Moore explains it, not having those external reminders of the crash often makes his current reality more frustrating.