The family of Olathe East senior linebacker James McGinnis said they saw “small signs of healing” Sunday.
McGinnis collapsed during a high school football game Friday night and underwent brain surgery.
“While James remains in critical but stable condition, we are blessed today to see small signs of healing,” the family’s statement said.
“We are simply amazed by this community, and we feel your love and support. Keep up the #PrayForJames nation. We know it's making a difference!”
According to Olathe East athletic director Kraig Taylor, McGinnis was moved to intensive care at Overland Park Regional Medical Center after surgery early Saturday morning to relieve pressure and stop bleeding around his brain. Taylor said McGinnis’ pupils were reacting to light.
Doctors are planning to keep McGinnis sedated for three or four days to allow swelling to go down. According to Taylor, doctors found that most of the blood had generated from damage to the brain lining and not the brain itself.
The McGinnis family issued a statement Saturday afternoon:
“Last night our world turned upside down when our son, James, was injured doing what he loves best — playing football under the Friday Night Lights.
“James is tough, passionate — a perfect son, friend, an athlete. He loves his family, and that family includes the Olathe Football Family and friends.
“We are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from this community. We get strength from your positive thoughts and prayers.
“He remains in critical, but stable condition. As such, we are 100% committed to his recovery so are asking for privacy for not only our family, but for his friends as they heal during this difficult time.
“Please keep the positive thoughts coming and #PrayForJames.
– Patrick McGinnis, Father, and family
McGinnis collapsed on the field Friday night during a game against Olathe South and was non-responsive for about 15 minutes before being transported to the hospital. Olathe East was on defense toward the end of the third quarter and he had made a tackle two plays before he collapsed, but he was not involved in the previous play. He fell as he was walking off the field.
After the game, about one hundred concerned teammates and friends packed into the surgical waiting room at the hospital and waited for updates from the family.
According to McGinnis’ father, Patrick, doctors did an initial CAT scan and elected to do emergency surgery, which included removing a piece of McGinnis’ skull. Patrick McGinnis also said his son never lost oxygen to the brain between the time when he collapsed and arrived at the hospital, and that his spine was unharmed.
Fans and competitors took to Twitter to voice their support using the hashtag #PrayForJames.