NEWCASTLE, Okla. - It seems to be a common reaction now whenever Caleb Freeman enters a room.
On Sunday, his church family at First Baptist Church in Newcastle stood and cheered as he walked into the service on his own, not even using a walker.
His dad’s gentle touch on his back was the only visible support.
Caleb has had to relearn everything, including walking and talking, since suffering a traumatic brain injury in a car accident December of 2017.
Caleb stepped up on the stage at his church and engaged in a question and answer session with his dad, who is the head pastor there.
“Caleb is not going to be a miracle. He already is a miracle,” said his dad, Jeremy Freeman, as the congregation clapped.
“I know that I shouldn’t be standing here right now but I’m standing here in the power of Jesus Christ,” said Caleb.
Caleb’s speech still comes slow but his wit is as quick and sharp as ever.
His dad told the congregation Caleb is somewhat of a comedian.
Caleb has spent the last eight months in hospitals and is thrilled to be back home.
His next goal is to get going even faster.
“I see that I’m going to run again. Probably pretty soon,” said Caleb.
The sky’s the limit now for this 16-year-old who wants his story to have an impact on others.
“I want to travel around the country and share my story,” he said.
It’s an emotional day for Caleb’s family.
His dad remembers standing on the same stage eight months ago when Caleb was still in a coma and talking about the day when he would come back.
“Today was like that day. And so it was like, the completion of eight months of people praying for him and longing for this day. So it’s really kind of hard to describe. It’s kind of surreal, you know, it’s amazing though,” said Pastor Freeman.
Caleb’s progress has been miraculous, but his family says to keep the prayers coming because they know there’s so much more in store.
“He’s going to run again and when he runs, it’s going to be a huge day to celebrate too. That’s coming next,” said Pastor Freeman.
He says it’s been a little bit like being with a celebrity.
Everywhere they’ve gone since Caleb arrived back home a week ago, someone has recognized him and asked to take a picture with him.
But he says Caleb has been taking it all in stride.