Pa. boy proves power of positive thinking

SHERMAN'S DALE, Pa. - Ten-year-old Deven Jackson has always had a passion for football.

"I loved it because it was my most favorite sport," he said.

But two years ago something off the field started to slow him down. Michelle and David Jackson are his parents.

"It was like a bad dream that we couldn't wake up from, because we thought Deven had strep throat," said Michelle Jackson. "That's all he complained about."

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Deven Jackson plays football with his new legs.
CBS News

It wasn't strep throat, it was much worse -- bacterial meningitis.

"They tried to tell us that he had a less than 10 percent chance of even living at all," said David Jackson.

Devin beat the odds and survived, but doctors had to amputate both legs below the knees.

"I cried, said Deven Jackson. "I couldn't say nothing. I couldn't speak, I just cried."

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Deven Jackson
CBSNews

Football seemed like a lost dream. But Deven decided he would prove everyone wrong.

"Because they thought I would never like be playing football," said Deven Jackson. "They'd probably say, that kid can't play football no more, he can't do nothing. And I showed them up."

He set his mind to getting back on the field. It took him a year to learn to walk again and then to use customized running blades.

This fall he's back playing peewee football.

"I want to go to the NFL," he said. "I want be in the Hall of Fame. That's what I want to do."

Recently he scored his first touchdown in two years.

"Probably one of the best moments of my life right there seeing that again!" said Deven Jackson.

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Deven Jackson gets ready for the game.
CBS News

"He teaches us just not give up," said Michelle Jackson. "Like, life might deal you a bad hand but you just got to continue on."

It's been a long road to recovery.

Along the way it's the player who's become the coach.