Copyright 2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Two Georgia linebackers faced medical tragedies on the gridiron this weekend.
Atlanta native Christion Abercrombie, a sophomore at Tennessee State, and Pike County High School junior Dylan Thomas were both still hospitalized in critical condition late Sunday, reportedly after injuries on the field.
On Sunday, as family members updated their prognoses, it became clear that as one family had reason for hope, the other was growing increasingly dependent on a miracle.
"My godson is AMAZING the doctors with his progress," Abercrombie's godmother, Tajshure Cornelius, tweeted at 10:12 a.m. "Your prayers are working," she said, thanking those from Abercrombie's alma mater, Westlake High School.
Meanwhile, the updates on Thomas had grown increasingly dire early Sunday. The 17-year-old was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital on Friday night, unresponsive after collapsing on the field during the third quarter of a home game against Peach County High School. By Saturday night, the swelling in his brain had not subsided, according to his uncle, Nick Burgess.
"Things are not looking good at all," Burgess wrote on Facebook. "I can't even describe the pain I am feeling."
His nephew was in "very critical condition," Burgess said, and even if he survives "chances are he will not be the same."
Around 1 p.m.Sunday, Burgess posted another update.
"Nothing more can be done for Dylan Thomas, it is all up to God and Dylan's fight to live at this point," Burgess wrote. "He still is in very critical condition. Doctors have done everything they possibly can so please keep praying."
Neither injury appears to have been the result of a dirty tackle, such as helmet-to-helmet contact.
A family member told Channel 2 Action News that Thomas, shortly before he collapsed, told a teammate "he didn't feel right."
It was just before Tennessee State's halftime against Vanderbilt when Abercrombie was involved in what his coach, Rod Reed, described as a routine football play. "He was taking on a block, and it wasn't anything malicious or dirty or anything like that," Reed said on his Sunday morning radio show. "Just an unfortunate situation."
Abercrombie, a sophomore, walked off the field without any help. He told trainers he had a headache. Then, minutes later, he collapsed, according to his coach. Abercrombie was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for emergency surgery, Tennessee State officials said in a statement. The school didn't offer any specifics, only that he remained in critical condition.
Back in Pike County, on the same football field where Thomas lost consciousness, friends and family gathered on the 50-yard line to pray for Dylan. "I love this kid," Pike County assistant coach Logan Winkles wrote on Facebook. "He's tough as hell ... but he needs all of us right now."
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