Stafon Johnson: 'We are fighting on'

USC senior tailback Stafon Johnson was released from the hospital on Wednesday, 16 days after undergoing emergency throat surgery, and had a moving message for all his supporters. Look inside to see what Johnson wrote and more.

Wednesday was an uplifting day for Stafon Johnson, his family and the Trojan Family.

The senior tailback, who suffered a serious throat injury just over two weeks ago, was released from Cedar-Sinai Medical Center this morning.

"We are extremely pleased with what we saw," said Dr. Ryan F. Osborne, Director of Head and Neck Surgery. "So pleased that we felt that he was stable enough to be discharged home and managed on an outpatient basis."

The medical staff continues to be encouraged by Johnson's rapid progress.

"He has made extremely remarkable progress at this preliminary stage," Osborne said.

Doctors said it is too early to give a timetable on when Johnson would be able to speak again.

"It's impossible for us to make any statements regarding his voice quality or voice function at this point in time," Osborne said. "We will just have to defer to a later date to make statements regarding that."

While heading home is another major step for Johnson, he still has a long road ahead to make a full recovery.

"Going forward he will require further rehabilitative services regarding his speech, his swallowing and breathing," Osborne said. "In regards to his current capabilities regarding speech, it's a bit too early for us to make any definitive statement.

"We are happy with the progress that he has made thus far and we are very optimistic for his long term prognosis."

Johnson was upbeat during the press conference and even passed a note to his mother, Kim Mallory, that read, "Fight on and beat the Irish."

Below is a statement from Stafon Johnson that was read by his uncle, Kregg Anderson, during Wednesday's press conference:

"First and foremost I would like to thank my lord and personal savior, Jesus Christ, for letting me see this day. This has been the most humbling and eye opening experience that I have ever encountered in my 21 years of existence.

"Next I would like to thank my doctors, for they were definitely sent from heaven, my son Deuce, my mom and dad, family and friends, my uncle Kregg, my Living Gospel Church, pastor and wife, all my coaches, Coach Carroll, my SC Wild Bunch of course, Pops, Dorsey, the city of Los Angeles, and last but not least, all the love, prayers, encouraging words and support from people around the world. You just don't know. Without all of that, this fight wouldn't have been so easy and my story wouldn't have been so encouraging.

"I am so filled with joy, as if I am graduating from one stage of life and on to the next obstacles. I promise you that I greatly appreciate everything, even the little things at this point count. Everybody took a part in this. This is not the end of anything, this is the beginning of things to come. I will be back soon. We are fighting on. Thanks very much.

Stafon Johnson with his mother, Kim Mallory.

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