Family and friends prayed for a 14-year-old Orange High School football player who remained in a medically induced coma Monday after suffering a head injury last week.
Thys Oldenburg, 14, was injured upon being tackled during a junior varsity game Thursday against Hillside High School. The game was played at Orange High, where Oldenburg’s supporters held a vigil Sunday.
Oldenburg’s aunt, Caroline Oldenburg, created a GoFundMe page Friday to help pay her nephew’s medical bills.
While the teen remained unconciousness Monday afternoon, Caroline Oldenburg posted in an update that “Jan just confirmed CT looked good. Yay yay yay. No swelling or hemorrhage.”
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His battled “will be a marathon and not a sprint,” she wrote earlier. “Not only will this be a long and arduous mental, physical and emotional battle, it will also be a financial one.”
As of Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe page had generated over $9,300 in support. It was being updated regularly with pictures and messages of encouragement.
Thys Oldenburg’s fever broke over Saturday night, and a Sunday post said he was “stable and holding his own.”
The teenager, who previously was a two-time champion wrestler at Stanford Middle School, underwent three emergency surgeries to reduce swelling and bleeding on the brain in the first 24 hours after his injury, wrote his aunt, a former toxicologist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Doctors are scheduled to begin to bring him out of his medically induced coma on Wednesday, she wrote, “They’ll start to wake him up.”
Doctors will then be better able to diagnose his injuries.
On Monday, Caroline Oldenburg said Thys Oldenburg’s parents are exhausted and “running on autopilot.”
She added that if her nephew “wakes up out of this coma and is fine,” then the donations will be deposited into a fund to go to “the next kid who this happens to.”
2nd Orange Panther injured
Oldenburg was one of two Orange High player sent to the hospital last week.
On Friday night senior running back Marvante Beasley went down in the third quarter and lay motionless as coaches and trainers surrounded him.
Beasley put two thumbs up as he was carted into an ambulance.
He had movement in his arms and legs, and by Saturday morning posted on social media that he was out of the hospital.
“I’m ... feeling a lot better. First and for most (sic) I want to thank the man upstairs, and everyone who sent a prayer for me,” he wrote at 10:26 a.m. “Glad my boys pulled out the win! Oh yeah I’m also cleared this week to play so let’s keep it rolling.”
Insurance for high school athletes
North Carolina public high schools provide insurance premiums for their student athletes, N.C. High School Athletic Association spokesman Russel James said.
The NCHSAA requires all public high school athletic programs to enroll all formal participants in its Student-Athlete Catastrophic Accident Insurance Program.
Each school pays $3.75 per enrollee; the program provides coverage from $25,000 up to $5 million.
All athletes, student managers, student trainers, student cheerleaders and student participants and coaches are covered while participating in authorized and sanctioned interscholastic competitions and practices.
Some school districts offer options for supplemental, student-athlete accidental insurance coverage, James said.