'The doctors saved my life, but friends saved my spirit'

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Exactly four months have passed since former college football player J.D. Aylward was left for dead on a Bellevue street.

Aylward has been recovering since, and recently got his doctor's approval to exercise on his own. But the athlete, who was once considered a triple threat by football recruits, is still moving more slowly than he was known to.

"It's kind of a love-hate relationship with me and my body," he said.

Battered and bloody, the 24-year-old Sammamish High graduate was found the street after a night of partying at Munchbar in September. His last text from that night stated he was "kicking it with friends," but he still doesn't remember what happened next.

While Aylward's body is getting healthier, his case is growing colder.

Bellevue police say there is no update. The investigation is still ongoing, but the slow progress has proved frustrating for the Aylwards.

"I've talked to the detective and his stance is: 'I've called on all the leads I had. And if nobody's calling me with leads, I don't have anything to go on,"' said Colleen Aylward, the victim's mother.

J.D. must undergo one more surgery to replace the section of skull surgeons removed and set aside to save his life.

"That's another problem why I'm not back fully -- because they got infected in the freezer with bacteria," he said.

He will now receive a synthetic skull to fill out the indentation that he covers with a cap.

"It does remind me something bad happened, which I try not to think about, and I'm kind of embarrassed," he said.

J.D.'s confidence took a hit, but he is bouncing back, thanks to support from his friends who signed the visitor log during his hospitalization.

"The doctors saved my life, but friends saved my spirit," he said.

J.D. is still unable to work, but says the PRO Sports Club in Bellevue is holding his job for him.