/New Albany’s Gray Spencer Just call him ‘Miracle Man’

New Albany’s Gray Spencer Just call him ‘Miracle Man’

Young Spencer doesn’t remember arriving at Methodist Rehabilitation Center Jackson on March 31, or for the first few days during his 22-day stay. Young Spencer doesn’t recall not being able walk, talk, or straighten his balled up upper torso. It is unlikely that he remembers his parents’ worries – initially that he might not survive – or, if he did, the quality of his life. Gray Spencer will always remember Wednesday, April 22, 2020. He “graduated” at Methodist Rehab that day, and walked out on his own to return home to New Albany, where he was greeted by his family and friends. Wednesday marked his 22nd birthday. Spencer called Wednesday night from his home and said, “The most amazing day of my lifetime,” “I cannot express how grateful I am and how blessed I feel. I am blessed. “I feel like God placed his hands on my body.” During a five-week period, Spencer’s seemingly miraculous recovery, doctors, nurses, and therapists all had their hands on Spencer. Spencer couldn’t even lift his head, communicate or walk when he arrived at Methodist Rehab. Bob Spencer, a New Albany banker and Gray’s father, said that he would be forever grateful for all the Methodist staff. I can remember crying several times during those first few days following the wreck, when I was alone. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to get my son back to normal. I was hoping that he would one day be able to walk with the aid of a walker. It took a while to get used to it, but then it became a flash of light. Gray was referred to by therapists as “Miracle Boy” after his miraculous recovery. But first, you should know some background. Gray Spencer was a New Albany High School Bulldogs shooting guard and grew up as a sports-loving, gym-rat. John Stroud, a New Albany resident and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, was a longtime friend of Spencer and described him as a “superb high school player with a great mind.” Gray Spencer did it. Before going to school, he would shoot 1,000 shots per day. He would sometimes stay for practice to make another 1,000 shots. He was also tough. According to his high school coaches, he was a leader in the state’s taking over. However, college basketball is not in demand for shooting guards of 5-10. Gray decided that being a coach would be the best option. Kermit Davis Jr. recommended Gray to Ole Miss coach. Davis said Spencer is “one of my best coaches” and that he has been a great manager. Davis also says that Spencer is just as demanding of his managers than he is of his players. Davis stated, “I want guys who love the sport.” Davis said, “I want guys who love the sport and will work.” Gray is all of that.” Gray was actually returning to Oxford from New Albany for an extended spring break due to the pandemic. He needed to get some clothes and finish some tasks at the Ole Miss basketball court facility. Gray was apparently passing another vehicle on Highway 30. He then lost control of his car and veered into a ditch. Bob Spencer stated that Gray’s life was saved by his seatbelt and airbags. “That’s an emergency call you don’t want to get. Your son was air-lifted to the hospital, and is now on a ventilator.” Bob Spencer The North Mississippi Medical Center found bleeding in Gray’s brain. It was likely from impact damage to his skull. They decided against surgery believing that the blood would heal itself. It did happen, even though it took several weeks. Gray Spencer’s determination and his pre-accident weightlifting and exercise regimen were crucial to his recovery. Davis said that Gray was in the same shape as his players. His therapists were also crucial to his recovery. They included Kollin Cannon (physical therapist), Chuck Crenshaw (occupational therapist), Taylor Miller (speech therapist) and Taylor Miller (speech therapist). To help him, they incorporated his love for basketball into the exercises. Crenshaw stated that they worked on Crenshaw shooting free throws to improve Spencer’s coordination and depth perception. To work on Spencer’s weaker left side, Crenshaw said that Spencer was able to catch firm bounce passes with his left hand while balancing on a unstable surface. Gray was also instructed by his therapists to dribble a ball using his left hand. He then began to dribble behind his back and between the legs. This may have been the catalyst for “miracle boy” at Methodist Rehabilitation Center. Remember that the wreck occurred on March 16, before any social distancing or the like. Gray Spencer was thrown into a pandemic, and everyone around him was wearing gloves and masks when he regained his senses. Gray Spencer, a junior secondary math education major with an average of 3.5 GPA, was blessed by the extended spring break and the switch over to online learning at Ole Miss. Bob Spencer stated that Gray’s professors were very understanding. They’re giving him incompletes, and letting him take his own time. He will have until July to finish this semester’s course work. Methodist Rehabilitation Center Gray Spencer is excited to get started. He said that his memory is still returning to him. “I have to remind myself on my phone about things. It’s coming back. “School-wise, I’ll begin with the easy stuff and work my ways through it.” Physically, he is still 20 pounds lighter than his pre-accident weight (170). That will likely be solved by home cooking. The goal is to go back to Ole Miss classes whenever they are available, and to his duties as basketball manager whenever basketball resumes. It’s all up in air. Gray stated, “That’s been a lot my motivation – be ready for my senior years.” What’s next? He said, “I’m going to get my Masters and then I’m going to coach.” Coaches can change people’s lives. My coaches have made me a better person. “I would love to coach college basketball, but I’d be happy coaching high school basketball and educating math.” On Wednesday, he was content to be at home and to have entered his house by himself. To help the Spencer family pay for their likely exorbitant medical bills, a GoFundMe page was created. Please donate here.