WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A local high school football player remains in the hospital after suffering a severe concussion during the first game of the season.
Kaharrie Pureifoy, 15, was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Thursday after a helmet-to-helmet hit with another player during Wayland Union High School’s junior varsity game against Hamilton High School.
Knocked unconscious from the hit, Pureifoy remembers the sound of crashing helmets before everything went dark.
“Like a little car accident,” Pureifoy said. “It was really loud, just think of loud metal hitting each other.”
Since being admitted to the hospital, Pureifoy’s parents say he’s already regained his speech and some movement but continues to suffer from memory loss and dizzy spells.
The teen will be transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Tuesday.
“Now we have to go through physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy just to get him back on track to where he needs to be at,” his mom Angela Moore said.
Moore says a full recovery is likely in reach, but it’ll take time. The doctors told Pureifoy he’ll be out for at least the rest of the season.
“I’m still kind of scared because I don’t know how I’m going to turn out all the way and I just hope that I’m going to be able to play sports in the future,” Pureifoy said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Pureifoy’s family to help with medical expenses.
Though the ambulance responded to the scene in a matter of minutes, some parents have expressed concern on social media about there not being an ambulance on site for JV games.
MHSAA Communications Director Geoff Kimmerly said emergency medical services and paramedics are not required to be on site during games, regardless of level or sport.
“Frequently, athletic directors will be in contact with local EMS to let them know a schedule of home games, in case that’s where an EMS wants to set up for the night just to be close by,” Kimmerly said in a statement to News 8. “But again, requiring that over our entire state would not be feasible.”
Wayland Union Schools Superintendent Christina Hinds said the safety of their athletes is a top priority during practices and games, adding that paramedics are available within a matter of minutes.
“It’s difficult when one of our students is injured and our Wildcat Community supports each other through these tough times,” Hinds said in a statement.