HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH/Gray News) - A Hutchinson High School football player is recovering in a Wichita, Kansas, hospital after taking a hit during a game, KWCH reports.
Freshman Gabe Eye was sidelined during a home football game Monday night against Derby. Initially, school officials were worried he might have a head injury.
Instead, Jessica Eye says her son suffered a ruptured spleen and a fractured backbone. She says once she saw the hit, she knew something was wrong.
"I couldn’t relax. The game kind of ended for me, and I was just focused on him from the stands," Jessica Eye said. "He knew something was wrong. He’s taken a lot of hard hits, but he knew something was wrong in his abdomen."
Gabe Eye was rushed to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, where he passed out before entering the hospital. From there, he was transported to Wesley Children's Hospital for surgery.
Now, after a week in the ICU, he's being moved to a regular room.
His mother received the news on the same day her youngest son turned 6 years old. She says it was like a gift.
"It was such a good day. He could carry on a conversation with us. He had been just keeping his eyes closed, and you would just get thumbs up and some nods," she said. "To get his opinion about his care, it’s a big deal."
Jessica Eye says she appreciates the community's support, especially on social media. She says Gabe thanks everyone for their well wishes.
"I read a lot of messages to him, and it’s pretty overwhelming to him to see how many people are thinking about him," Jessica Eye said. "My heart is full. I’m just overwhelmed with the outreach and the support from the community."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses and to keep the community up-to-date on Gabe Eye’s condition.