SAN ANTONIO — There is nothing quite like Friday nights in the great state of Texas. We see Texas high school football coaches roaming the sidelines working to lead their teams to victory. But, sometimes, we get an opportunity to see their lives beyond the football sidelines.
This is one such story.
"We love all of our kids at school. Just like they were our own kids," said Reagan Rattlers Head Football Coach Lyndon Hamilton.
There is no doubt that coaches are like dads. And many are also fathers. "There’s that special love you have for your own kids that maybe those other kids don’t get," Lyndon said. "When you have a son that struggles, you tend to take care of them just a little bit more."
The Hamilton’s have a norm that most of us don’t know.
Their oldest son Drew, now 20, has battled epilepsy, and the seizures that come along with that since he was six.
"It is scary," said D'Laine Hamilton, Drew's mother. "You just pray that this is not the one that he doesn’t wake up from."
Coach Hamilton talked about the real life moments that come with seizures as well. "I’ve seen one too many in my lifetime with my own kid and you shouldn’t have to watch that. It is part of what we deal with. I’m just glad that he’s the young man that he is because he continues to fight through it."
We also spoke with Drew about his life battle since his earliest years. "It doesn’t define me. It never will. I won’t let it."
And that’s been an attitude passed on from father to son long ago.
"I told him when he was a little kid that we would not use epilepsy as a crutch. He’s a Hamilton. He’s not gonna be a Hamilton with epilepsy. He’s just a Hamilton,' said Coach Hamilton
Drew played high school football. He graduated high school, and he’s now in his third year of college. "I don’t want to be treated differently. I want to be treated the same as everybody else. When people do treat me the same, it makes me feel like I could fly," said Drew.
"I hope and pray that his life will someday change, and that a miracle will happen, and that he can one day have a family, a career and go live on his own," said Bryce, Drew's younger brother.
And that’s the hope as medical science moves forward. And as that happens, Drew’s parents have a message for other families.
"What people need to know is that the majority of the time everything is going to be okay," said Coach Hamilton. "We’re hoping that the medicine combination that he’s on kicks in and that he’s able to move out of the house...and live a full life," said D'Laine.
Hamilton family battles on the gridiron and in the hospital
"That’s the beautiful thing about where we are at Reagan," said Lyndon. The kids are accepting. They understand to how to embrace other peoples difficulties. That’s the beauty about sports -- there are no lines that separate those guys in the locker room.
"My mom, my dad, my brother. They support me so much. I couldn’t ask for anything more," Drew said.