What caused a healthy football player from the Woodlands to collapse during a playoff game in Waco over the weekend?
It’s a question that is tugging on hearts all over the community, and the outpouring of support for Grant Milton and his family has been incredible.
The senior linebacker was rushed away from McLane Stadium on Saturday for emergency surgery with a possible brain injury.
Classmates and parents in the stands saw no direct hit before it happened.
“He was sitting on the bench and suddenly started throwing up. It just happened all of a sudden, and nobody saw anything because he wasn’t on the field, and the game just kept going on,” said classmate Bryn Stephens.
The Highlanders went on to claim victory against Austin Bowie High School and are now headed to regional finals with an undefeated record.
They are set to play against Round Rock on Saturday without No. 21 on the field with them.
“He’s in everyone’s prayers. I know I’ve been praying. It’s just awful,” said classmate Bailey Cahill.
Milton's family gave Waco Police an update Monday afternoon.
"Everyone has been so supportive and we can't thank you enough for your prayers," the statement read.
"Grant is still in critical condition and in a coma. His recent CT scan continues to improve. His medications have been reduced today and he showed positive signs of movement and strength in his upper body.His vital signs are strong and anyone who knows Grant would say he is STRONG and SPIRITED. The doctors indicate he is trending in the right direction and that his youthfulness and strength are on his side."
His family said he is showing positive signs of movement and strength in his upper body and is responding to his father’s voice.
“It popped up on my Facebook, help No. 21 on the Woodlands football team. I just started reading about it,” said Jason Cooper, co-owner of CrossFit Enoch in Conroe. “I said, we have to help. This is what our gym is about.”
Jason Cooper is preparing for the grand opening of CrossFit Enoch on Saturday with co-owner David Weddel.
Cooper also works as a critical care nurse, and Weddel spent more than a decade coaching football.
The two don’t know Milton but feel compelled to help the teen and his family.
They’re hosting a fundraiser at their gym on Sunday at 1p. It’s located at 11133 I-45 North building G in Conroe.
“Being a coach for the last 16 years, we love those kids like they’re our own. It’s hard seeing someone go through any type of injury, and a head injury is a totally different ballgame,” said co-owner David Weddel. “From medical bills to just the unknown of a head injury, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
A GoFundMe page for Milton has been raising tens of thousands of dollars and the amount continues to surge.
Milton’s family has been posting updates on his condition and recovery.
Conroe ISD released the following written statement:
“During Saturday’s regional football playoff game in Waco, The Woodlands High School senior Grant Milton was injured and required emergency surgery at a hospital in Waco. At this time, he remains in the hospital in the intensive care unit. The family has established a CaringBridge page on which they will try to provide updates. The Woodlands High School community and all of Conroe ISD send our thoughts and prayers to Grant and his family.”
Football coach Mark Schmid has not spoken publicly about the incident, but the district sent the following statement on his behalf:
“Grant is an important part of The Woodlands' football family. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he recovers.”