By Danny Kennedy
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - On August 16th, 2009 Jarrett Carland's life was forever changed. On that night, he lost his best friend in the same car accident that put him in a coma for four months. And what brought him out of a coma, involves loving parents and the devil that went down to Georgia.
"They didn't expect him to live, and if he did, they didn't expect him to ever come out of a coma. They figured he would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life," said Jarrett's mom, Elana Carland.
During rehab, part of 17-year old Jarrett Carland's physical therapy was to listen to a song that he really liked.
"He listened to Charlie Daniels over and over again and that particular CD. When we went to Atlanta, we played it over and over. And when we went home, we played it over and over. He just really liked it," Ms. Carland said.
Over and over and day by day, his parents played his favorite song, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."
"The other kids would be playing soft music or whatever but we would just crank up 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia'. And we got a reaction from him, from that song," she said.
So on Saturday night, Riverbend arranged for Jarrett to meet the man who helped bring him back: Charlie Daniels.
"I think we're making his dream come true. He's also gonna start the fireworks with me tonight and his mom has been very much beside herself. So, it's a great way for Chattanooga to give him a gift," said Chip Baker.
A surprise birthday gift to Jarrett thanking him for his courage. A great night for a great kid on the road to recovery.
"They expect him to make a full recovery. He is walking some and they just expect a full recovery," Ms. Carland said.
A recovery whose origins began with his buddy Charlie Daniels.