Virginia running back Perris Jones was discharged Tuesday from a Louisville rehab center following a spinal cord injury he sustained in a game against the Cardinals earlier this month.
Jones was injured on Nov. 9 after catching a pass, and taking a helmet-to-helmet hit. He was immediately immobilized and taken to the hospital, where he underwent spinal cord surgery. After a week in ICU, he was transferred to Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, where he spent the last 12 days. He will now return home to Charlottesville, Va., where he will continue with his rehab.
Jones spoke at a press conference at UofL Health on Tuesday, thanking the doctors, staff members, Louisville and Virginia communities, coaches and teammates for their support.
"If he can do it, I can do it, too," Jones said.
"Since being here and since everything happened, it's not something that you plan for. It's not something that you ever expect to happen. It's not something you want to happen, but it did," Jones said. "I'm a firm believer in Jesus Christ. That's something I stand on, so I firmly believe everything happens for a reason."
Jones said following the hit he could not feel anything. "I realized my body went numb," he said. "I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer."
UofL Health doctors also spoke during the press conference, noting his resilience and ability to keep pushing forward during his rehab. "We actually had to stop him because he kept going and going and going," Dr. Camilo Castillo said.
Jones, a sixth-year senior, will no longer play football but his perspective is clear following his injury.
"If you can make it through the night, there's a brighter day," Jones said. "I stand by that."