GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Davenport University football player Malik Hayes was critically injured in an accident on Nov. 17 in Gaines Township.
According to the Kent County Sheriff's Office, around 7:20 p.m, Hayes and two of his teammates were pushing a vehicle to a nearby gas station when another vehicle struck them from behind.
Hayes, 22, suffered serious injuries to both of his legs and was transported to the hospital for emergency surgery. Since the incident, he has had five surgeries, with several more planned for the near future.
The 22-year-old's family said the quick work of good Samaritans who applied tourniquets likely saved Hayes' life.
This weekend, a GoFundMe account was created to raise money for Hayes' family who needs to relocate from Lousiana to Grand Rapids in order to help him recover.
"I have two small kids and I'm going to have to leave my job," said Hayes' mother, Marian Greene. "My husband is going to have to leave his job so that we can relocate here. But I have to do what I have to do, no questions asked. I have to do that for my baby."
Greene has been in Grand Rapids with Hayes since the accident. She plans to return to Louisiana on Tuesday. His family is focused on keeping Hayes' spirits high while he endures the long road to recovery. And despite a long rehabilitation process, Hayes plans to complete his Master's degree within the next 18 months.
"Malik has his good days and his bad days," said Greene. "I know it bothers him because he is used to getting up and going to the gym, working and just on the go. And this [accident] was just life-changing; it's changed everyone's life."
Hayes' family is grateful for the support from his teammates, coaches and friends and the West Michigan community. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so at the Fight Malik Fight GoFundMe page.
Other stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.