The football teams of the Medfield Warriors and the Millis/Hopedale Mohawks have enjoyed a good relationship for quite some time. Many of the players from both teams played Viking Pop Warner together and the two football programs work out together over the summer, says Warriors head coach Erik Ormberg.
In fact, the coaches are childhood friends, having attended Walpole High School together.
Now, the two football communities are pulling together to support one of their players who was seriously injured over school vacation.
Taylor Sack, a junior at Millis High School and captain of the 2014 Millis/Hopedale Mohawks (where he wears jersey #11), was skiing at Wachusett Mountain on Feb. 22, hit a tree, and is now paralyzed.
“He suffered a spinal cord injury. He had surgery in Boston on Monday [Feb. 25] and should be leaving the hospital early [this] week for rehab,” Mohawks coach Dale Olmsted explained in an email to the Warriors community over the weekend. “Taylor's outcome is unknown; right now his injuries have caused paralysis…I am reaching out to you to ask you to pray for Taylor.”
Taylor, 17, was first taken to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester and later transferred to Boston Medical Center, Olmsted told Patch.
Taylor cannot feel anything from his chest down, according to the following message he posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday:
Hey everyone, so as all of you know I was in a very serious skiing accident that led to a broken collarbone and 3 fractured columns in my vertebrae. As of right now I am unable to move anything from my chest down. Luckily I do remain to have full movement of my arms and can occasionally feel mild pressure in my legs. I personally believe that with each and every thought, prayer, and concern we are one step closer to a miracle. I am truly overwhelmed by the incredible amount of support I have been receiving and appreciate it more than most of you will ever know. Although I pray every day that God will grant me the power to never give up and to eventually walk again, I also pray that no matter the outcome of this long difficult journey, it [will] bring both my family, friends, and me closer to God.”
Family friend Katie O’Connell, mother of Taylor’s girlfriend April, said he will likely be transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta later this week for rehabilitation.
The Shepherd Center is one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, specializing in thoracic spinal cord injury which is what Taylor has, said O’Connell.
Family and friends have started to plan fundraisers to help the Sack family with expenses that insurance will not cover. A trust has been set up at Middlesex Savings Bank. Donations can be dropped off at any branch location or mailed to the Sack Family Support Trust, Middlesex Bank, 36A Milliston Road, Millis, MA 02054. The Medfield branch is located at 495 Main Street.
O’Connell is holding a two-hour Ryde for Taylor Ryde-a-Thon on Saturday at Medfield’s H.Y.P. Studio, 120 North Meadows Road, where people from Medfield, Millis, Sherborn and other towns are “sponsoring the bike and lots of people are taking shifts riding to raise money for Taylor and his family.” Donations will also be accepted at the event.
O’Connell, who works at H.Y.P. (as well as Gold’s Gym in Millis), said the response was so great to the first session that she had to add another (12:30pm-1:30pm); she expects to raise nearly $5,000 for the family.
Anyone interested in joining the event can contact her at Katie.email@example.com
O’Connell said all ryders are invited to take the 4 p.m. hot yoga class, compliments of H.Y.P. owners Dennis Ozer and Debra Goodman.
A second fundraiser is planned at the Ryan Family Amusement Center in Millis on March 16. Details to be announced.
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