ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A South Lake High School football player has been hospitalized, unable to move the lower half of his body, following an accident on the field.
DJ Myers, 16, is bedridden and has a tracheotomy tube. It's in stark contrast to video taken just a few weeks earlier that shows an energetic and active athlete. Right now, there is no definitive prognosis.
Vigil D'Haiti was at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Camp at Stetson University in DeLand last Tuesday, when he watched his son make a tackle, ending up on top a pile of players. Then, he watched as DJ fell to the ground, hitting his head.
The safety and wide receiver for the Eagles was momentarily unconscious. Vigil says he did not expect the type of damage his son incurred from the impact.
"When he did wake up, he was like, 'I made the tackle!' And then he said, 'I'm stuck!' That's when it hit me," Vigil explains.
Eagles' Head Coach Mark Woolum says, "We are hurting, but they are rallying around DJ, but there's a sense of excitement...'I'm going to do this for DJ!'"
Woolum says his players are now rallying around Number 11. DJ, said to be a natural leader, is motivating his teammates as he fights hard to recover. Facetime pep talks from Myers were common before the tracheotomy.
"This young man has a lot of faith and despite what happened, he has a lot of faith," says Erik Quarterman, a volunteer camp athletic trainer and paramedic.
Vigil says, "This is not football's fault. No one's fault. This was an accident. If my son was able to speak here right now, and you asked if he'd do it all over again, he'd say in a heartbeat." He continues, "That boy's faith is abundant, and though mine has wavered from time to time, he's rejuvenated mine."
Myers, who has suffered and displaced vertebrae, is expected to remain in the ICU at Orlando Regional Medical Center. A Go Fund Me account for Myers has been set up to cover medical expenses.