HILLSBOROUGH, N.C.--On Sunday, hundreds gathered at Orange High School for a vigil for a 14-year-old student who is still in critical condition after he was injured in a football game.
Teammates say Thys Oldenburg went down after a hit during Thursday night’s junior varsity game.
The teen’s family says since the hit, Oldenburg has been in the hospital.
Oldenburg has gone through three emergency surgeries to reduce swelling and bleeding on his brain, his family says. They say he may not regained consciousness and may not for a while.
On the front patio of Oldenburg’s high school, the community gathered in the hundreds to pray for the boy.
“He is family with us,” said Owen Brimmer.
NC JV Football Player Critically Injured During Game
Brimmer is one of Oldenburg’s teammates. He spoke during the vigil. He says he was on the field when Oldenburg was hit, and saw his friend collapse on the field.
“It’s scary,” he said. “It’s an awful feeling,” he added.
Brimmer and his teammates have not been able to visit Oldenburg in the hospital yet. He says he came out to the vigil to let Oldenburg, and his family know the community is there for them.
“To show Thys that I love him, and he’s a great dude and I want him to know I’m here for him. And all us, we’re all here backing him up,” said Brimmer.
And even though Thys’s parents are still at the hospital, they saw the whole vigil through friends and family live-streaming video of it on the Internet.
“It’s amazing how everyone in Hillsborough has already found out about it and come together at least with prayer,” said Caroline Beasley.
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Beasley is Oldenburg’s aunt. She was at the game when Oldenburg was injured.
She says the last few days have been so hard on the entire family, but to see the community come out in the hundreds for the vigil will help her and the family get through the difficult time.
“It’s really been phenomenal the support here,” she said.
The family is using a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical costs as well as general expenses. Within the last few days, they’ve raised more than $5,000.