Teen suffers temporary paralysis after hard tackle in football game, family says

A family in West Virginia says 14-year-old Hayden Hunt suffered temporary paralysis after getting hit during a junior high school football game. (Source: WSAZ)
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 8:21 PM PDT
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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WSAZ/Gray News) - A middle school football player in West Virginia couldn’t move his arms or legs for around eight hours after getting injured during a game Thursday night.

WSAZ reports 14-year-old Hayden Hunt is on a new course after being injured in a game while trying to run the ball into the end zone. He couldn’t get up after being tackled and stopped short of the goal line.

“As he [Hayden] was lying in the hospital bed, we were talking about the plays,” Hayden’s father, Rick Hunt, said. “He said he thought he could get in, and then he just lost his footing when another player hit him in an awkward position.”

Rick Hunt said that Hayden, the Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School quarterback, couldn’t move for around eight hours after being injured in the game.

“He couldn’t hold his arms up, legs up, or move his fingers. He couldn’t do anything,” Rick Hunt said. “So, you wonder, is this how it will be? How is life going to change?”

When his son was injured, Rick Hunt said the coaches went over and asked the other team’s coaches if they had an athletic trainer to look at the 14-year-old. With no athletic trainer on either sideline, Rick Hunt said coaches had to ask if there were any medical professionals in the stands.

Rick Hunt said Hayden is now able to move, but he won’t be able to return to football this year and is looking at rehab.

Hayden’s father said he hopes medical personnel will be on-site at all football games in West Virginia.

Rick Hunt said Hayden has since been released from the Charleston Area Medical Center, where he was transported the night of the injury.

Previously, a bill set to address athletic trainers at high school sporting events was introduced to the West Virginia Legislature. It hasn’t passed over the years, and this year, it did not make it out of its first committee.