NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) - A Muskegon County father died after falling and hitting his head during an indoor soccer game last week.
Kevin Conkright, 36, leaves behind a wife and three children.
"It's not right. It's just not right," said friend Leti Rudolph.
24 Hour News 8 was told Conkright was playing soccer with his team Nov. 29 at the Shoreline Soccer Club in Norton Shores. Friends said he followed the ball, collided with the other team's goalie, fell back and hit his head hard on the ground. Rudolph was at the club when it happened. She said Conkright immediately lost consciousness.
"We saw them start doing chest compressions and such, and pretty much everyone stopped and just sat down, and hoping and praying that nothing bad was going to happen and he would be all right, but it was pretty obvious he was badly hurt," said Rudolph.
"We responded and initially, going into the call, it was eerie quiet in there. You knew that it wasn't good," said Norton Shores Deputy Fire Chief Bob Gagnon. "We did everything possible at the scene and he was transported to the local hospital."
Friends said Conkright's family -- his wife Brie and three children, ages 8, 11, and 13 -- made it to every game to cheer him on. Unfortunately, that means they were there for what turned out to be his last one.
"They saw it happen," Rudolph said. "It was traumatic and the rest of the kids that were around, they helped pull them through that and try to pull them away for a little bit, but eventually they saw their dad wheeled off."
Rudolph told 24 Hour News 8 she didn't believe that Conkright had any previous medical conditions before last week's incident.
Conkright was transported to Hackley Hospital, where he underwent surgery and survived for several more days. But he never regained consciousness.
Friends said it appears Conkright just hit his head in the wrong spot.
Rudolph said the impact somehow impeded the blood flow from Conkright's brain, causing it to swell. Despite surgery to try to repair the damage, Conkright did not survive.
"Everyone gets hurt, and everyone falls on the head, and everyone gets kicked in the head, and you just didn't expect it," said Rudolph.
Rudolph told 24 Hour News 8 Conkright was a family man who died too soon, a man who would give anything to anyone. She said it's only fitting his family decided to donate Conkright's organs.
She told 24 Hour News 8 his heart, liver, kidney, some tissue and some bone will be given to others.
"Obviously this is a great time of year to receive news [like that]," said Rudolph. "Some of his organs are still alive, which is nice, so I'm sure he would like that."
Rudolph said that before Conkright's accident, the indoor soccer team was called the Turf Killers, but now its name will be Kevin's Warriors.
"We weren't that great, but we went out there and won some, and lost some," said Rudolph. "Now we want to win some for him."
A memorial fund has been set up for Conkright's family at Shelby State Bank. It will likely be active Thursday.
"If anyone knows Brie and her family, just maybe share a hug with her and tell her you're there with her. Thirty-six is awfully young to pass," said Rudolph.
Kevin Conkright memorial Facebook page
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