HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico High School football player suffers serious injuries during Friday night’s game and now Warrior Nation is coming together to support him.
According to the principal and high school athletic director, who both posted on social media, Samar Lemons is being treated at VCU Medical Center for a neck fracture.
“While his injuries are serious in nature, the family hopes he will recover movement with time and perseverance,” the post said. “The family asks for continued support in the form of positive thoughts and prayers as he continues through the early stages of post injury.”
“It was just devastating because you just don’t know, and so when you don’t know you start thinking of the worst,” said Principal Karin Castillo-Rose.
Like many others, Castillo-Rose was stunned when she got the call Friday about Lemons.
“It’s really emotional,” said Robert Welch, Director of Student Activities at Henrico High School. “This is a kid who is out there doing what he enjoys doing and at this point is in a spot that’s very difficult for him. So, it’s very difficult to not be overwhelmed with emotions.”
Welch said Lemons’ injury happened just before halftime on a kickoff return. Sporting #17, Welch added Lemons was playing his position like he normally does when the accident happened.
“It was not a play that anyone would classify as dirty, or anything like that,” Welch said. “It was just one of those unfortunate... it happens in sports sometimes and it happened to Samar.”
The injury left Lemons with a fractured neck and limited mobility.
He was taken to VCU Medical Center where treatment and physical therapy are underway to help him regain functionality.
However, in his time at Henrico High School, you would not just find Lemons on the football field.
“Two years of football, one year of wrestling and three years of baseball,” Welch said. “Yup, and maintaining above a 3.0.”
Now, there is a long road ahead.
While Henrico eventually lost to Douglas Freeman Friday night (41-24), Warrior nation is giving Lemons a huge win when it comes to support through a fundraiser.
Lemons’ mother created the GoFundMe to help with medical bills expected to accrue throughout his recovery process.
Between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Monday, the contributions rose by $10,000.
“Every time I look at it, it doubles,” Castillo-Rose said. “But I’m not shocked because Warrior Nation comes through.”
Donations have come from the immediate community, along with coaches from other schools, school systems and even from out of state.
“I actually received a phone call this morning from a mother from Ohio, whose son, unfortunately, went through a similar incident and she was offering her support and letting the family know that the thing that got her through it early on as she was not alone,” Welch said.
NBC12 briefly messaged with Lemons’ mother Monday who said:
“I am so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. We are believing that God will have Samar walk again. I believe!”
According to the GoFundMe, Lemons has plans of attending Old Dominion University in the Fall and then joining the Army after college.
“…They have to begin aggressive physical therapy to gain some functionality in his arms, but we need him to be healed from his head to his toes,” the GoFundMe read.
As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, more than $26,500 was raised in a matter of 19 hours.
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