A high school wrestler in California was paralyzed from the neck down during a competition last week, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Ryan Joseph, 16, a sophomore at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, has been unable to breathe on his own since the accident on Wednesday and is being treated in the ICU at John Muir Medical Center
"The guy took him down and put him in a hold, and then the ref shook him off and he shook his head like, 'I can't get up' so he just laid there and the ambulance had to come and take him," Adam Samhan, a friend since kindergarten, told ABC7News.com.
He was wrestling in the 160-pound weight class when he sustained the injury, The East Bay Times reported. It was his second year on the team.
The high school’s athletic director told the paper that Joseph is a “positive” kid with a “fantastic sense of humor.”
The report said that Joseph, who also played on the high school’s lacrosse team, comes from a family stepped in the tradition of wrestling.
"Everyone likes him. He's outgoing and everything," Samhan told the channel. "He's a nice dude -- like all the teachers love him. Smart guy, always never showed off in front of others. He was just a nice guy overall."
Friends have started a GoFundMe page.