The family of Olathe East High School senior linebacker James McGinnis said in a statement on Friday that he is now breathing on his own, according to a Twitter post by the Olathe East Football Boosters. The statement was sent along with a picture of McGinnis giving a thumbs up from his hospital bed.
The statement read: “For the past couple of days, we’ve continued to see improvement in James’ condition. Today marked a “FIRST DOWN” as James was able to breathe on his own for the first time since last Friday night. We think it’s remarkable, given that tonight is FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS with his beloved football team, Olathe East. The attached picture shows James giving us a “thumbs up” this morning, something he was not able to do with his teammates last Friday night as he was taken off the football field. We know that we have a long road ahead and appreciate all the love, prayers and deep comfort for our family. As we head into the weekend, we ask that you #PrayForJames.”
McGinnis remains hospitalized after he collapsed on the field during a football game on Sept. 12 against Olathe South. He was rushed to Overland Park Regional Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery to stop bleeding and alleviate pressure around his brain.
Olathe East plays host to Shawnee Mission South at 7 p.m. Friday at the College Boulevard Activity Center. In support of McGinnis, Olathe East will be selling T-shirts and will wear decals on their helmet at the game.