By PATRICK BLAIS
WAKEFIELD - A 16-year-old Northeast Metropolitan Technical High School student will require extended medical and rehabilitation services after sustaining a serious head injury in a football game last weekend.
According to Winthrop residents Amanda and Daniel Cooke, their son Brandon is recuperating at MassGeneral Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery in the wake of the devastating injury on the field during a junior varsity football contest between Northeast Metro Tech and Saugus High on Saturday morning.
A member of the Class of 2023, the high school running back and safety was knocked unconsious and injured so seriously that the rest of the sporting contest was cancelled.
Now, as the honor roll student eyes a long-road to recovery, his family is looking to raise as much as $200,000 to help defray his medical care.
“We appreciate all the well wishes and prayers for Brandon through this difficult time. We would like to ask you for your support through Brandon’s continued recover,” his parents wrote on a GoFundMe page created in recent days.
“No amount is too small. Anything you are able to give will help tremendously for Brandon’s continued hospital stay and long term rehabilitation. Brandon is strong and he is a fighter. He will get through this with the help of all his friends, family, and supporters,” the Winthrop residents added.
In the first five hours after the GoFundMe page went live, well-wishers reportedly pledged $10,000 towards the cause. As of this morning, the total amount raised had jumped to more than $25,000 with more than 449 individual donors contributing towards the charitable effort.
Those looking to help out are
encouraged to do so by typing https://gf.me/v/c/kgm8/brandon-strong-road-to-recovery into a web browser. The donation’s page can also be reached by logging onto GoFundMe.com and typing “Brandon Strong” into the search feature at the top of the page.
Cooke has been involved in organized football leagues since he was seven-years-old and was reportedly excited to play on Northeast Metro Tech’s squad alongside his twin brother, Kristian.
According to the high school juniors’ parents, Brandon is studying plumbing at the vocational school and dreams of opening-up a plumbing and HVAC business with his twin sibling.
“Their life long dream is to open up their own company together. It’s been extremely hard for Kristian especially because they were never apart. Not even for a day,” his parents explained.
In the wake of last Saturday’s freak accident, Northeast Metro Tech officials made sure guidance and counseling staff were made available to help out students and football team members struggling with the incident.
School officials, who say Cooke was not injured by a direct hit to the head, are still trying to figure out exactly how the football player was knocked unconscious.
"Our thoughts and support are with our injured student-athlete, his family, friends, classmates and teammates during this difficult time and we are closely monitoring the situation," Northeast Metro Tech Superintendent David DiBarri remarked in a prepared statement released last weekend.