COOGS CARE: Teenager paralyzed after football game gets surprise visit

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 13-year-old football player at Livingston Junior High remains in the hospital after a head-on collision during a game Tuesday night.

"To be in the situation he's in, being a 13-year-old little boy, he's handling it like a champ," said Krystal Currie, the godmother of Jeremiah Jefferson.

Currie tells Eyewitness News the injury happened during the last football game of the season.

Livingston Junior High was playing against Huffman Middle School. Currie says Jefferson collided with a Huffman player head-on.

"You hear about freak accidents like this happening and you don't think you're going to get that phone call," said Currie. "Jeremiah's fifth vertebrae in his neck was shattered instantaneously. He lost any ability to move from the chest down."

A snapshot from that night caught Jefferson's teammates kneeling in prayer.

Jefferson was taken to Children's Memorial Hermann in Houston, where he underwent surgery and was placed on a breathing machine.

Currie tells us after days of shock and anguish, the family was surprised by a visit from two University of Houston football players.

"We still do not know how they found out what happened," said Currie.

Wide receiver Kinte Hatton and tight end Romello Brooker showed up with a ball in hand to show their support.

"He just kept looking at them," Currie said. "His eyes danced and his mom told me, 'You could not have seen a happier kid.'"

During their 10-minute visit, Jefferson was able to move his right arm the furthest yet.

"He was able to bend his whole elbow," Currie said. "Like he was showing them that he had a strong arm and that he was going to be strong."

The teammates invited Jefferson to join them at a game when he is able.

Since that visit, his mother says the breathing tube has been removed, and the paralysis in his legs has progressed to minor movement.

Now the godmother wants to say thank you to these two players on behalf of the family.

"To know that somebody, who is somebody, cares enough, I mean we're small town people, we don't have stuff like that happen," Currie said. "For you guys to take that time and that effort to reach out to a kid that you didn't know, that wasn't affiliated with that team at all, that y'all took that time, we are forever thankful and forever grateful."

There are several fundraiser's for the family to help cover medical costs.

Currie is running a Facebook fundraiser to help the family pay for Jefferson's medical bills.

The Livingston Independent School District is also selling T-shirts, with proceeds going to benefit the Jefferson family.
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