Philip Barbour’s Corey Martin returns home more than 5 months after crash


PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Saturday was an emotional, and a monumental, day for the Philip Barbour High School community, as one of their own returned home for the first time in nearly six months.

Corey Martin, son of Philip Barbour High School Athletic Director, Tammy Martin Zimmerman, was injured in a serious car accident on December 18 of last year.

Corey suffered major injuries to both his brain and spine, and has spent the last 170 days in multiple hospitals, or rehab and trauma centers.

His brother, Ryan, documented the last 5 months and 19 days, that forever changed the lives of Corey and the Martin family.

TikTok video made by Ryan Martin documenting the last five-plus months of his brother’s life. (Courtesy Tammy Martin & Ryan Martin)

As you can see it truly was a long road back home for Corey. He spent two months at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, and then roughly 16 weeks at the Shepherd Center in Georgia.

It’s amazing that he was able pull through, and he spoke about coming home.

“It means a lot. I got to see family, friends, again. It’s like a whole new life got restarted, again. Just getting home and seeing my family and friends, and reuniting with them. They really supported me through this injury. I thank them all for that. I love them all so much. It’s been a lot of work and going to therapy and really working my butt off. But, I mean, I really just had to have my brain in the game. No pain no game.”

Corey Martin after returning home for the first time in nearly six months on Saturday

“He definitely is a fighter. We didn’t know whether he was going to make it or not there at Ruby. The doctors even told us they had done all that they could do. But, honest to God, God was right there with Corey every step of the way. Doctors even said he was a miracle. So, thank you, God, for being with our son every step. I know He’s going to keep being with him, because he’s got a bright future ahead of him. He’s made so much progress since his accident,” said his mother, Tammy Martin Zimmerman.

Corey was able to pull through, even as Tammy said, when doctors didn’t think there was much hope.

He spent seven weeks in a coma at Ruby. After coming out of the coma, and improving, he spent the next 16 weeks rehabbing at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Corey and the Martins weren’t the only West Virginians there, either, as they were joined by the Mazey family from the WVU baseball team.

#TeamWammer and #CoreyStrong both entered the Shepherd Center with severe injuries. With Corey returning home on Saturday, both have now left and are back home in the Mountain State.

Tammy said when they crossed the state line coming into West Virginia on Saturday everyone in the car began singing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

It was a long road to come home, and there’s still a long road ahead with more rehabbing to be done.

As they did in the subject of the song, country roads brought Corey back to Philippi. And his momma was with him every step of the way.

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