GRAHAM, N.C. (WGHP) — Sunday marked an important moment in the recovery of three local elementary school students who were discharged from UNC Hospital.

The incident unfolded after a school bus crash in Alamance County Thursday morning, which resulted in seven students being sent to the hospital. At present, all but one of these students have returned home as they continue their path to recovery.

Nolan Reid, an eight-year-old student, and his family have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during this challenging time.

“I got a call, and I was really scared. I didn’t know what the results were or if he was okay or not,” Nolan’s father, Eric Reid, said.

More from FOX8

North Carolina News

See the latest North Carolina news

“When I saw him, he was covered in blood, and he had a big cut right here. I’m just grateful that he’s doing a lot better today,” Nolan’s uncle, Aaron Toombs, said.

Nolan suffered significant injuries, including a broken jaw and the need for more than 20 stitches due to a deep cut above his eye. 

Reid highlighted the profound impact of experiencing such an incident when it involves your own child. “You often hear about accidents and similar incidents, but it’s an entirely different experience when it’s your child on that bus.”

After spending the weekend at UNC Health, Nolan achieved a milestone last Sunday when he began eating independently. While doctors have discharged him from the hospital, the road to complete recovery is far from over. He is expected to undergo physical therapy, and it will likely be some time before he can return to school.

Nolan is eager to return to school to reunite with his friends and, as he put it, “see my girl.” However, his father, Eric Reid, is concerned about more than just the physical aspect of Nolan’s recovery. He worries that Nolan may develop a fear of getting back on the school bus due to the traumatic experience.

“I don’t want him to be scared to get back on the school bus. Unfortunately, that’s a fear he may now have.”

Nolan himself said that he is not afraid of getting back on the school bus, but he expressed the fear that another bump or pothole could spark his anxiety. “I’m really not scared. I’ll be fine getting back on it. It’s just that if it hits another pothole, I’ll be scared to death.”

More from FOX8

North Carolina News

See the latest North Carolina news

The bus driver, 75-year-old Ronald Farrow, has been charged with failing to stay in his lane. Farrow has been with the school district since 2010, and Eric Reid wants to make it clear that Nolan’s family doesn’t blame him for the incident.

“I found out that the bus driver has been there for quite a while, and it’s important for everyone to know that we don’t hold him responsible. I want him to know that.”

Throughout Nolan’s recovery process, his family has constantly been at his side. They’ve set up a GoFundMe campaign to help cover expenses that have piled up during this challenging period due to missed work. If you’re interested in supporting Nolan and his family, you can visit their GoFundMe.