He doesn’t know how much longer he has, but Mary Persons senior Hatcher Davis plans to be at the first day of school on Friday and is doing much better since leaving Egleston Children’s Hospital on Saturday.

“He’s an amazing child,” said his mom, Pam Davis. “He wants to be there for his senior year and to enjoy it.”

Hatcher, 17, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, is a local hero for his faith and good cheer despite his tenacious battle with the muscle-wasting disease. He’s had a rough go lately. Hatcher spent 15 days at Egleston as his weight dropped to 55 pounds and heart function fell to 20 percent.

Finally Hatcher, the son of Kevin Davis and Pam Davis of Forsyth, declared he was going home to be with his friends. 

“He said ‘if I die in a week, I’m OK with that,’” said Pam. “But I’m not going to do it here at the hospital.”

It appears to have been a good idea. Since coming home Hatcher has put back on weight and thrived under the care of his friends who spend hours by his side.

“His friends are phenomenal,” said Pam. “They’re there all the time.”

Pam said Hatcher’s friends even drove to Atlanta every day he was in the hospital even though they could only visit for 10 minutes in ICU.

She said Hatcher’s teenage buddies have a compassion and love uncommon for boys their age. 

“I truly believe that’s why Hatcher’s here,” said Pam. “Because of the boys. To show people compassion. God put him here for a reason.”

Hatcher’s buddies even plan to surprise him on Wednesday with new tires for his truck as well as a wash and wax job so he’ll look great riding in for his first day of his senior year. They already took him on a senior cruise this summer in case he isn’t able to go after graduation.

“It’s a testament to these kids,” said Pam.

Meanwhile, friends are also planning a Hotcakes for Hatcher pancake supper at Forsyth United Methodist Church from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets are just $8, and additional donations are welcome. A silent auction will also be held and donations are welcome for that. To donate a silent auction item call Lori Andrews at 994-7020. Tickets are available at Southern Smiles, the Monroe County Tax Commissioners office, and the Reporter.

Pam said she’s thankful for the support, and for everyone who’s called and texted and prayed for Hatcher. 

“It’s working,” she said, saying he may hit 65 pounds. “He has really felt the prayers.”

Now that he’s doing better, Hatcher is ready for some Georgia football and to go fishing. They’re doing his senior photos at his home on Wednesday.

Pam said she’s talked to hospice so that they can care for Hatcher at home without returning to the hospital. But doctors said if they can get his heart under control, he could live another year. No matter what happens, she said Hatcher has always told her he’s at peace with whatever God decides.

“I don’t know where he comes from,” said Pam, “but he’s definitely God’s child. He said ‘God and I have talked about it and I’m good either way. It’s a lot better up there.’”