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Kent Woolstenhulme welcomes his nephew, Porter Hancock, home to house built in less than eight weeks by volunteers for the Hancock family after Porter was paralyzed while playing in a South Summit High School football game on Oct. 7, 2011. He was released from the hospital, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 in Oakley, Utah. Courtesy Hancock Family
Prep football: South Summit’s Porter Hancock leaves hospital, finds new home waiting
Prep football » Kamas, Oakley and other communities raised funds for handicap-accessible home.
First Published Dec 16 2011 05:55 pm • Last Updated Dec 16 2011 09:46 pm

It was homecoming on Friday afternoon for Porter Hancock.

The junior linebacker from South Summit had been in the hospital for the past 10 weeks after he was paralyzed from the chest down in a football game in October. But for the first time, Hancock was able to breathe air outside the confines of his room at University Hospital.

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"It was amazing, it definitely was," said Jill Hancock, his mother. "He just looked kind of in awe, trying to take it all in."

But that was far from the only thing the Hancocks took in that afternoon. They arrived in Oakley to a new home paid for and custom-built by family members, the South Summit community and supporters from all over the state.

"When I came through the door, I was speechless. I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital, being stuck in the same room for two months. I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I just want to say thank you to everybody, most of you I don’t even know. …" Porter said in a news release.

The one-story home was constructed within seven weeks. It has a rehabilitation room, a "hang-out" space for visitors, a handicap-accessible shower and decorated rooms for Porter, his mother and his sisters. Jill Hancock called it "overwhelming."

"It’s amazing how they came together," she said. "Everybody pitched in."

Porter Hancock is still working on his rehabilitation process. Jill Hancock said he still has not seen significant progress in his lower extremities, but he has better function in his arms and is still working to use his fingers.

kgoon@sltrib.com


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Twitter: @kylegoon



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