Deaf 13-Year-Old Boy Born with Missing Skull Undergoes Life-Changing Surgery, Hopes to Play High School Football

Deaf 13-Year-Old Boy Born with Missing Skull Undergoes Surgery

07/31/2015 AT 03:50 PM EDT

Thirteen-year-old Alex Spraggins doesn't let anything stand in the way of his dreams.

The deaf teen, who was born without a large chunk of his skull (leaving only the skin on the back of his head to protect his brain), wants to play football on his high school's team.

"He wants to play football because there are not enough boys on the team at the Georgia School for the Deaf," his mother, Sylvia Spraggins, tells 11 Alive.

The teen is no stranger to overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. At just 2 weeks old, Alex was found by police in a field in his native China after he was abandoned because of his incomplete skull, according to the news outlet.

He was then brought to an orphanage and put in temporary foster care in Ohio before he was adopted by the Spraggins family in Georgia.

In May, Alex underwent surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to cover his vulnerable skull with grafted bone.

Deaf 13-Year-Old Boy Born with Missing Skull Undergoes Life-Changing Surgery, Hopes to Play High School Football| Medical Conditions, Real People Stories

Full scale model of Alex's skull before surgery

"He had survived against all odds with this kind of a defect. We sort of keep our fingers crossed now for the next few months," Dr. Fernando Burstein of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta told 11 Alive.

Alex's doctors say that a high school football career is a definite possibility in the future.
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