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Wayland Union football player suffers head injury in first game of the season

A GoFundMe page created to help with the family's medical expenses is growing beyond the original donation goal.

A West Michigan football player is recovering tonight in a Grand Rapids hospital after suffering a sports injury last week. Wayland Union High School sophomore Kaharrie Pureifoy was hurt in the first game of the season last Thursday during a junior varsity game. 

The running back is suffering a severe concussion following a tackle, and every day he's making progress. 

"Football is a fun game. I've been playing since I was seven," Pureifoy says. "I get it. Rough stuff comes with (football)." 

His mom Angela Moore was there the moment her son hit the ground.

"He took off with the ball and the other team, a guy comes around and knocks him out of bounds," she says. "Once he's out, another guy comes along, head to head, helmet to helmet I should say, collision and Kaharrie just went down."

She says she knew it was serious very quickly.

"At first, I was thinking anytime he gets tackled he's back up like springs," Moore says. "When I seen he didn't bounce back up, I know it was serious."

"It was scary and I didn't know what was happening," Pureifoy says. "I was asleep so I barely remember."

He was in and out of consciousness for a while and he even had trouble speaking for a few days because of his severe concussion.

"Today I'm doing better, my head isn't hurting as much," Pureifoy says. 

He says support from his team and family is keeping him strong including a surprise GoFundMe page his friend Ian Thompson made.

"It feels really good," Pureifoy says. "I didn't know anything about it."

"I was like, that's gotta be expensive," Thompson says. "And I did some research and found out like how much it actually is for ambulance costs and overnight prices. I was like, that's ridiculous, no one going through that much stress and like adversity should have to pay that."

The donations keep growing way past the initial goal of $2,000. 

"I just wanna say thank you to everybody, and I appreciate it," Moore says. "I thank God first for everything."

Pureifoy says he can't wait to get back out onto the field.

"I'm just looking forward to getting back on the field, I want to do sports again," he says. 

He and his mom have agreed that he should wait until next year to play football again, just to give him extra recovery time. He's heading to Mary Free Bed soon to begin his occupation, physical and speech therapy as he continues on his road to recovery. 

Wayland Union School District Superintendent Dr. Christina Hinds provided a statement on the injury, saying, "Wayland Union School is unable to speak to the details of the incident out of respect for the family’s privacy. The safety of our student athletes is our top priority during practice and games. Within minutes of any injury, our medical personnel assesses the situation and advises when we need to call 911. Paramedics are available within minutes and provide care to the injured athlete.

"Our Athletic Trainer works regularly with our students. Our coaches and students are trained to recognize signs of concussion. It’s difficult when one of our students is injured and our Wildcat Community supports each other through these tough times."

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