Players rally for youth football coach paralyzed in freak accident

A Georgia community is coming together for a youth football coach who was paralyzed in a freak accident at his team’s end-of-the-season party.

Union City Parks coach Jonathan Magwood, 28, was flipping into a foam pit with his players on Nov. 30 when he landed on his neck, reported.

Magwood was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center, where he has already undergone surgery. Some of his players have visited to show their support.

“Coach Magwood is a great coach because if we mess up, he will always help you, and when you’re down he will always pick you back up,” 10-year-old Tyler Williams told

Williams’ mother Kaquesa witnessed the accident and told the news station she can’t stop thinking about it. “I think about it every time I turn my head I keep thinking about how I saw him in that pit laying down there,” she said.

The community is holding a fundraiser Saturday at a local park for the man who doesn’t have any kids of his own, but they say is a father to many.

“I would have a conversation with him about two or three kids who didn’t have the money, and he would always say that he would help me get the money or he would pay it himself,” Lee Blitch, Union City Park director, told

And those who know Magwood say his dedication to his players didn’t end with the final whistle.

“We go skating, he’d go skating with the kids, we go bowling, he’d go bowl with the kids. He does everything with those kids,” Kaquesa said.

A friend told the news station Magwood is alert but has a breathing tube in his throat.

“I know it’s going to be a long road for recovery, so basically wanted to come together, do something nice for the family to try to cover some of those medical expenses,” Dwayne Eberhart, Magwood’s friend, told

“Possibly they may need some ramps or things of that nature put into the house,” he said.

A website has also been set up to help cover some medical expenses.

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