James McGinnis' family says outpouring of support means the worl - KCTV5 News

James McGinnis' family says outpouring of support means the world to them

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

James McGinnis, the Olathe East football player who collapsed and suffered brain bleeding on the field during a game, is slowly recovering in a local hospital's intensive care unit.

His parents said they're hopeful he can start rehabbing Monday.

McGinnis has been at Overland Park Regional Medical Center since he suddenly collapsed during a game against Olathe South on Sept. 12.

When McGinnis suddenly collapsed during that Friday night game, his parents could only watch helplessly.

Since then, thousands of well wishes have been sent to the teen, not just from his classmates under the hashtag #prayforjames, but from all over the Midwest. His parents say the outpouring of positivity is exactly what they need right now.

“We are just in awe and humbled is the best word,” Susan McGinnis, James' mother, said.

Looking around his hospital room, it's evident that there is spirit everywhere in the T-shirts and letters from friends, teammates and even strangers. All is in support of No. 9 to get well soon.

“It can be hard. But as a mother, you do what you have to do for your kids. So I have to stay positive for him,” Susan McGinnis said.

Susan McGinnis knew her athlete son had fans off the field, but since suffering his traumatic brain injury, she said thousands have shown they are rallying for him, not just in Olathe, but across the Midwest.

“I wish everybody could feel it. It is phenomenal,” she said.

James McGinnis' condition is slowly looking up. For his father, he knew he had his son back when James flashed him their special hand signal meaning “I love you.”

“He'd be getting on the team bus, I'd shoot him the sign and he'd shoot it back,” Patrick McGinnis said. “One of the best feelings in the 18 years that he's been alive was when he shot me the ‘I love you' sign.”

The parents said all this love, which may be enough to fill bleachers, will keep James McGinnis and his parents strong.

“It's been incredible to see the support and the determination that they have towards James and I know they'll continue to do through his rehab,” Patrick McGinnis said.

McGinnis' parents say every day their son shows new signs of healing.

“What's happened in the past you can't change. You have to focus on what's ahead of you. That's what's instilled in him, in our family and we're proud because he is teaching us in living through this. That that's what's going to get him through,” Patrick McGinnis said.

His family said it will take a while, but they are confident James McGinnis will make a full recovery. They said he has plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas.

The Olathe East football boosters tweeted that shirts will be for sale before Friday night's game. They cost $15 and proceeds go to the McGinnis family fund.

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