A Bridgeport mother has started an online fundraiser to pay for her son’s medical bills in the wake of his unexpected hospitalization after he collapsed from a heat stroke during football practice.
Chandra Davis, mother of Jeremy Davis, 16, created a GoFundMe page Sept. 10 to help pay $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs incurred when Jeremy had to be taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Jeremy, a member of the Bridgeport JV team, said he suffered a heat stroke because he was dehydrated and had to run extra sprints after practice, ending with him not being able to catch his breath.
“The next thing I know, I was waking up in the ICU,” Jeremy said.
The Wise County call sheet says an ambulance was dispatched at 6:26 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2. By 6:28, medics were on the scene assisting Jeremy, and he was in an ambulance on the way to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by 7:01.
Chandra said Jeremy was only at Wise Regional for about an hour, where he had a temperature of 105 degrees. From there, it was off to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, where he would stay until Sunday. Chandra said Jeremy spent three of those days in a medically-induced coma.
He’s recovered now, but Chandra said her son is still having trouble with some basic day-to-day things, which is why he needs physical therapy.
“His liver and his kidneys were damaged, but they’re repairing themselves,” Chandra said. “But his brain is damaged, the part that controls balance [cerebellum], and that’s why we’re having to do therapy. He can walk OK as long as it’s one foot in front of the other, but he can’t do stairs, he can’t climb things.”
So far, the fundraiser page has brought in zero dollars. Chandra said she hopes the page will help pay for the out-of-pocket medical fees and some of the therapy.
Jeremy said he was running after practice that Tuesday because of an extra conditioning requirement called “List of Pain” – something administered by coaches when players fail to follow instructions in the classroom or on the practice field.
Jeremy had missed the last two weeks of practice because he was out with a shoulder injury and said he was not told why he had to run.
“I was told he was doing it because he didn’t clean out his locker when he was injured,” Joe, Jeremy’s brother, also a JV player, said.
Bridgeport head football coach and athletics director Danny Henson said the running was to help Jeremy get into better shape because of his injury.
“He was jogging after practice – he’d been out two weeks with an injury, and the rest of the team was doing weight conditioning while he was running,” Henson said.
“The List of Pain thing – it’s a lot of things, it’s not just one specific punishment. Sometimes it’s classroom issues, sometimes it’s locker room issues. All the details about what happened are things I can’t and don’t want to talk about.
“Our statement about the whole thing is that we’re happy he’s out of the hospital, and we’re glad he’s healthy.”
Jeremy said he spent the entire practice in full pads and couldn’t get any water during practice because all the water bottles the trainers had were empty. He said the varsity players drank it all first.
“He was absolutely dehydrated,” Chandra said.
Henson said Tuesday practices usually last from 4 to 6:30 p.m., practicing in full pads from about 4 to 5:50, and then going inside for a 20-minute weight-lifting session to finish around 6:30.
“Our practices are open for anyone to come watch,” Henson said.
Chandra said she plans to file a civil suit against the coach who was watching Jeremy run, but she has not been able to find a lawyer to take the case. Jeremy won’t be back in school until next Monday.
“Hopefully, we can get through it,” Chandra said.
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/eatt80.