Three members of the Cal Poly football coaching staff recently visited San Ramon Valley High School graduate Jake Javier, a preferred walk-on who suffered a paralyzing injury nearly two months ago.
According to gopoly.com, head coach Tim Walsh, assistant Jim Craft and former offensive coordinator Saga Tuitele visited the 18-year-old Javier in the hospital in mid-July and presented him with a game jersey.
Javier fractured his neck in a pool accident June 9, one day before his graduation at San Ramon Valley High. He was named the school’s athlete of the year, and at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Javier planned to join the Mustangs’ football team as an offensive lineman.
“His desire to be a part of the Cal Poly football program is something we will pass along to the entire team,” Walsh said in the release. “Jake’s attitude is what we want our Mustang athletes to have as well.”
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A story on KTVU.com said Javier underwent a procedure in July that made him the fifth person in the world to receive 10 million stem cells into his severely damaged spinal cord.
The story also said Javier’s treatment team “hopes the stem cells will help re-establish the connection of signals from Javier’s brain to other parts of his body.”
Javier’s mother, Isabelle, said the opportunity to receive a revolutionary procedure can be attributed to the “millions of prayers that everyone around our community, outside our community and around the world” have provided.
Javier has been transferred to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for further treatment and rehabilitation. He is currently going through a 60-day clinical trial that is scheduled to end in September, and Javier could be transferred to Craig Hospital in Colorado to continue rehabilitation, according to Cal Poly.
Javier was in San Luis Obispo for the Mustangs’ Spring Game in April, and he planned to study mechanical engineering. The injury, which left Javier paralyzed from the chest down, has received much attention and led to an outpouring of financial support.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a GoFundMe page set up to help the Javier family with medical expenses has raised nearly $210,000.
Javier also has received support from some of the biggest names in professional football. Cal Poly’s story said Tom Brady sent a signed New England Patriots jersey to Javier, and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts made a short video with some words of encouragement as well.
NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr also visited Javier in the hospital.
“I’m just very thankful to my parents and my family,” Javier told KTVU. “It makes a huge difference having someone in the room with me and always there to help out if I need anything.”