A ninth-grade student at Bloomington Jefferson High School underwent further surgery Tuesday for injuries sustained during a freshman football game late last week that left him paralyzed.
Ethan Glynn has been left paralyzed from the shoulders down following a ‘serious neck and spinal cord injury’ sustained on Friday during a tackle while playing a home game against Chaska, according to a post on the website of CaringBridge on behalf of his family.
Ethan is being treated at HCMC, where he was listed in critical condition on Tuesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
“Today Ethan’s surgery went well,” read the latest CaringBridge update from parents Cassidy Durkin and Corey Glynn. “He is back in his room recovering. The plan is that he will rest for the rest of the day. Tomorrow the word will come to visit him. They hope to have him set up with a communication board to make conversations possible since ‘he’s still on the fan.’
Ethan previously underwent a 7.5-hour operation to “remove and repair vertebrae in his neck,” a previous update read.
A close friend of the 15-year-old’s parents said Ethan’s father was at the game and explained the injury happened during “normal play” with Ethan playing as a defensive back.
“He got low, and the other guy got low,” said John Frein, who spoke with Ethan’s dad on Monday night. “It was just a weird angle. It looked harmless. … The stars aligned just for this to happen.”
Brake, who coached a young Ethan in baseball, added that there is a long road to recovery ahead.
“He’s a strong willed kid, a fierce competitor,” Frein said. “He’ll say, ‘I’m going to win. I will beat this. “
Community support poured in on behalf of Ethan and his family. An authorized online fundraiser raised more than $92,000 Tuesday afternoon from hundreds of donors.
“We are so grateful for all the support from our friends, family and community,” read a joint statement released Monday by Glynn’s parents, Cassidy Durkin and Corey Glynn. “It fills our hearts to know how many people care about Ethan. We know Ethan is a fighter and he’s in good hands. Thank you.”
Ethan also plays baseball and hockey. Minnesota Wild spokesman Aaron Sickman said the team has reached out to the family and “we will definitely do something about it.” [to support Ethan]whenever the family is comfortable.” A family representative said the Minnesota Vikings are also looking for ways to help the family.
Bloomington School District spokesman Rick Kaufman said in a statement sent to the Star Tribune on Tuesday, “This is a sudden and tragic incident that has affected so many people. In response, staff at Jefferson High School and the district has reached out to family, and other close contacts to support in any way possible. Today, Jefferson and district counselors are providing direct support to any student affected by the incident.
“The football teams will meet after school to deal with the incident and meet with the coaches and our advisory teams, all of whom have significant experience and training in traumatic events.”
In a message to students, their families and school staff, Jefferson Principal Jaysen Anderson said, “Words alone cannot express the struggle we all face. Words alone cannot express the sympathy and support we share with Ethan and his family. We encourage all affected to speak and share openly. This is where the emotional healing will begin.