A North Carolina soccer club is raising funds for one of its star players who was reportedly paralyzed in a water sports accident last week.
McKenna Woodhead, 14, was riding on a personal watercraft with a friend on Lake Wylie last Monday when they reportedly slammed into a retaining wall.
According to a GoFundMe page, the longtime Carolina Rapids player was transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where she was told she will be permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
“She was given the information this morning from the neurologist that she will be paralyzed from her chest down,” Michelle Woodhead, the teen’s mother, reportedly told friends in a text message. “But all she talks about since the news is that she can’t play soccer anymore — the game she’s trained her whole life for.”
Michelle Woodhead, whose personal Twitter account is full of videos featuring her daughter showcasing her skills, said that her daughter is “determined, strong and hopefully a fighter; she will need us all going forward.”
The Rapids team set up the GoFundMe page on behalf of the family, and shared it on their Facebook page. The organization's executive director, Thomas Finlay, said the teen is part of the Rapids family and that they will rally around her.
Michelle Woodhead said her daughter will remain at Levine Children’s Hospital for several weeks. Photos posted to Twitter show “Get Well” posters hanging all over the teen’s room.
“It’s been a long difficult week,” Michelle Woodhead posted to Twitter on June 30. “The outpouring support of our friends, family and the community has been so humbling. We are so fortunate to be in your prayers.”
The second teen injured was not identified, but was also reportedly transferred to the hospital.