A vigil was held in Lawrence County on Sunday for a high school football player that suffered a severe neck injury on the field.
Hayden Hamilton from Laurel High School was playing in a home game on Friday when the incident happened.
“Hayden was making a tackle and he did everything right, got in good position. Then, unfortunately, the knee came up high and, like, a quad or the knee caught him under the head and kind of whiplashed his head. He sustained a serious neck (injury), it was just an accident,” said High School Football Coach Brian Cooper.
According to family members, the minutes that Hayden lay motionless felt like a lifetime.
“The place quieted down. You could hear a pin drop. Nobody moved, including Hayden, until they put him on a stretcher,” said Dixie Hamilton, Hayden’s grandmother.
The game stopped for about 25 minutes as they waited for the ambulance. Both teams prayed for Hayden after the game.
Hayden was taken UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh for surgery.
Hundreds of people from the surrounding communities gathered for the vigil to pray for his recovery.
His family said Hayden couldn’t move much before, but he is now able to move everything except for his legs.
Coaches, teammates and school administrators spoke of his character and strength at the vigil.
Copper, who visited Hayden at the hospital this weekend, said although Hayden had a breathing tube in, he was still able to exemplify a big part of the team’s mantra–overcoming adversity.