CASSELBERRY, Fla. - It's a full-circle moment for former Sanford Seminole football standout, Kenneth Horsey.
"It feels great," Kentucky offensive lineman, Horsey told FOX 35 Sports. "I remember the first time we came here in 2018 my freshman year, he told me to stay ready because I never know when my time was going to come."
He's playing in Saturday's Citrus Bowl with Kentucky, as they face off against Iowa.
But just a few years ago, he didn't know he'd make it this far.
"I basically had to start from scratch, just reopening my lungs, taking walks. I couldn’t lift anything over five pounds for the first four weeks," Horsey said.
Horsey had open-heart surgery back in 2018, right before he went to college.
His parents, Kenneth and Shari Horsey say their son's heart problem was detected after stomach pains sent him to the hospital.
"They saw that it was the left valve. There was a little piece as it was opening and closing. Thank God it traveled down and not up to his brain because we wouldn’t be having this conversation today," Shari Horsey said.
Horsey redshirted his freshman year as he continued to work back to full strength.
His family says his comeback would've been harder without the support of his church, Seminole, and Kentucky community.
"I to talk him off the ledge a little bit sometimes. Like ‘why me, why me’. All I can say sometimes is why not you," Shari Horsey said.
As Horsey prepares for Kentucky's biggest game of the year, his family is confident the Wildcats can get the job done.
"I think you have a good outcome when you prepare for a moment such as this," Horsey's father, Kenneth A. Horsey said.
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