Hey folks - trying to get this out to the Charger community at large. The author of the story is a dear friend. Tragic news for one so young. Please help Cody any way that you can.
Editor's Note: If you don't want to click on the link, the entire story is after the jump.
Dear Fellow Charger Fans:
On Friday night, a high school football player suffered a spinal injury during a game.
Cody plays fullback and outside linebacker for the Santa Monica Vikings. The picture above shows him running onto the field for Friday's game. He is number 14.
I know of Cody through a colleague who is the father of another SMHS player.
He tells me that "Cody's surgery was considered very successful by the doctors. They removed fragments of bones and stabilized his spine with rods and pins. The fact that he had sensation in both hands on Saturday is considered a very positive sign, however only the coming days and weeks will show what the full potential for recovery will be. Although he has been placed on ventilation as a precaution, he was able to breathe on his own prior to surgery, so it is expected that he will be able to do so once the ventilation is removed."
He also tells me that "Cody's passion for football led him to be placed on the varsity team in 10th grade. Despite this honor, he remained friends with the other sophomore players who were all on JV, and he played in several JV games as well. Last year, the JV team gave out only two special awards at the end of the season. Cody's best friend was "Most Improved Player" and Cody was "MVP." Cody's mother is the kind of mother who is always involved and supportive. She never passes up an opportunity to volunteer or donate to the team or the school and she is always concerned for all of the boys."
Additionally, he says "[t]his football team has been an enormously positive influence for all of the boys involved. The boys range greatly in social, cultural and racial backgrounds, and their homes range from mansions to homeless. For the past two years, they've had a weekly study night and have pulled together to help boys in danger of becoming academically unqualified to play. Cody and several other boys took an AP history course over the summer so that they could maintain a college-preparatory course load and still devote enough time to the team." Cody hoped for a college football scholarship.
Finally, like the rest of us here, CODY IS ALSO A BIG FAN OF THE CHARGERS.
Cards, letters, and other small gifts from fellow Charger fans would probably be a great encouragement in his recovery. Any card or letter wishing him well would be a great comfort to him and his mother. I'd bet a blockbuster or iTunes card to get some music or movies would be greatly appreciated. Anything you can think of that would make it easier for a normally active teen-aged boy - send it along. The hospital does not allow food, flowers, or plants as gifts.
The address for Cody is:
c/o UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center
757 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
If anyone has any connections with Charger players - past or present - please do what you can to pass this along. I can't imagine how much it would mean to Cody to get a message of encouragement from one of the Charger players themselves. (I've written to the front office, but I don't know that it will get anyone's attention in the stacks and stacks of mail they must receive. I've also written to the Buffalo Bill's front office given that they just went through this with Kevin Everett and it might resonate with them.)
We will all wake up tomorrow and continue with our usual routines. Please take time out, though, to send good thoughts or prayers to Cody and his mother, whose lives right now are anything but routine. As a mother, I can't begin to imagine. Please do what you can.