Olathe East football player recovering after brain surgery - KCTV5


Olathe East football player recovering after brain surgery

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An Olathe East High School football player is "showing small signs of healing" after collapsing during a football game.

Senior James McGinnis was rushed into surgery Friday night at Overland Park Regional Medical Center with bleeding around his brain.

"While James remains in critical but stable condition, we are blessed today to see small signs of healing," McGinnis's father, Patrick McGinnis, said in a statement Sunday. "We are simply amazed by this community, and we feel your love and support."

Many people have been sharing their thoughts, concerns and well-wishes on social media using the hashtag #PrayingforJames and #OlatheFamily.

"Keep up the #PrayForJames nation. We know it's making a difference," Patrick McGinnis said.

The injury occurred as Olathe East played defense in the third quarter of the game against Olathe South at the Olathe District Athletic Conference facility on 159th Street in Olathe.

"That's very unusual to see a player just go down in that manner, so you had a feeling that it was a something of a serious manner," Olathe East head coach Jeff Meyers said.

With 3:44 left in the third quarter, McGinnis, a starting linebacker on the team, was involved in a tackle. Following the play, he was running to the huddle, then motioned to come out and suddenly collapsed on the ground.

"It really looked like the hit knocked him out," Meyers told PrepsKC. "He was out."

He remained motionless on the field for what witnesses say was in upwards of 20 minutes as stunned players and fans from both teams quietly looked on.

"It is something of great concern to our players, to our kids and coaching staff because we all believe we are also a family," Meyers said. "Anytime you see one of your teammates have to leave the field and be transported by ambulance, they're concerned."

"That's really the No. 1 concern right now," South head coach Jeff Gourley told PrepsKC. "We really hope he is OK."

Many who were at the game said they were concerned with how long it took paramedics to arrive.

"There was an ambulance on site before the game, but I understand there was a bus driver of Olathe South's football team that was having I think a heart issue," Meyers said.

Johnson County MED-Act said in a written statement that an ambulance was on scene within seven minutes:

"Johnson County MED-ACT would like to provide additional information regarding the timing of our response to the Olathe District Activities Center last night. A Paramedic Advanced Response Unit assigned to the game was immediately available when summoned by the athletic trainers on the field. An ambulance with additional paramedics arrived on scene within seven minutes. The injured player was en route to the hospital 13 minutes after 911 was called. He and his family are in our thoughts."

His coach said his vital signs were good when he was taken to the hospital and he was able to move his arms and legs.

At the hospital a CAT Scan revealed he had blood on his brain, so doctors took him into surgery to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure from the bleeding on his brain.

"The injury to the brain was not in an area that would affect things such as speech and things of that nature," Meyers reported after the surgery.

Those who know and love McGinnis, especially his teammates, remain worried.

"I tried to encourage them that things are going to be OK. You want to think positive and think of the best things and not react to the unknown," Meyers said.

Doctors will have a better idea of McGinnis' condition in the next few days.

McGinnis also runs track at Olathe East.

Due to the injury, Meyers said that Olathe East's junior varsity game scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. was postponed.

Come Monday, teammates will try to start returning to business as usual with regular practice and then Olathe East will take on Shawnee Mission South on Friday.

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