A Georgia high school football player died Sunday night after sustaining severe head injuries during a game, Pike County High School student Dylan Thomas was airlifted to a local hospital Friday night in critical condition, where he had two surgeries to address swelling on his brain. According to People, 17-year-old Thomas was in serious condition after the injury, and the operations failed to relieve the swelling.
“Things are not looking good at all. I can’t even describe the pain I am feeling,” his uncle Nick Burgess wrote on Facebook.
On Saturday, the family announced that doctors had done everything they could, but that Thomas was still in critical condition. He was pronounced dead late Sunday night.
Thomas was playing for the Pike County High School Varsity football team when he was hit in the second quarter. He returned to the field but said that his arm and leg felt numb. Thomas collapsed on the sidelines shortly after.
“I heard that he was saying that, you know, he wasn’t feeling right and that’s when his left leg and his left arm went numb and he pretty much fell off the bench,” Burgess told local Fox affiliate WAGA.
The tight-knit community in Pike County, Georgia, rallied together to raise funds and bring support to the family over the weekend. As of Monday morning, one fundraiser for medical costs had raised about $24,600.
Following Thomas’ death, there has been an outpouring of memories and support on Facebook and other social media.
“Words can ever explain the way I am feeling. the one that was the golden child in the family and really brought the family together. The one that had the biggest heart. The one that told me personally he was always Was always scared to seriously hurt somebody on the field and never thought it would happen to him,” wrote Burgess on Facebook.
Pike County High School superintendent Michael Duncan announced that the school will be offering grief counseling for students.
“Dylan was an active participant in our school community and a member of the Class of 2020. Please remember his family in the days ahead. Our school counselors have been and will continue to be available to provide assistance and support to students as they express their sorrow in the loss of their classmate and friend.”
Thomas’ death comes after increasing concern about the injuries that football players experience. According to the NCAA, concussions account for 7.4 percent of all football injuries.