HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019
Hutchinson High School freshman Gabe Eye is back home after spending a little more than a week at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.
Eye suffered a ruptured spleen and cracked vertebrae in the Hutchinson High School freshman football team's 14 game against Derby. He was released from the hospital Tuesday (Oct. 22).
Back home and walking, it's not immediately noticeable that Gabe is recovering from a serious injury.
"It's kind of painful, not terrible. Hurts my back a little bit since I cracked a bone. It's nice to now I can walk" he says.
Joining Gabe at home are many get-well cards and balloons. It's one card in particular, he says, surprised him the most. That card is from his favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Friend and teammate Ashton Quidachay says while excited Gabe is home, he missed playing alongside him in last week's home finale for the freshman and will dedicate the team's final game next Monday (Oct. 28) to Gabe.
Gabe is out for three to six months, but the good news is, doctors say he should be able to return to the football field next year.
"It's exciting because I have three more years of high school football and other activities to do," he says.
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019
A little more than one week since an in-game injury sent him to a Wichita hospital, a Hutchinson High School freshman football player goes home to continue his recovery.
Gabe Eye left the hospital Tuesday afternoon, a day after his team rallied for an overtime victory in the freshmen season finale against McPherson.
Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
The Hutchinson High School freshman football team returned to the field for the first time Monday night since teammate Gabe Eye was rushed to the hospital after an in-game injury.
Gabe suffered a ruptured spleen and a fractured backbone, but he's expected to leave the hospital this week and, his mother says, expects to return to the field next season.
As Gabe recovers, a town with a long history of high school football rallies around the freshman, now hospitalized for a full week.
Gabe's mother, Jessica Eye, says her son is passionate about football and he's looking forward to getting healthy and playing again next year.
During Monday night's final home game of the freshman season, Jessica was there to support her son's team and give him updates via FaceTime so he could follow the action as best he could from the hospital in Wichita.
"We don't want to see any of our boys get hurt, and when one of them does, it hurts everybody," Jessica says.
Rallying around Gabe, the Hutchinson freshman football team pulled out a double-overtime home win against McPherson Monday night.
"It's pretty easy to play for somebody else that's as good of a kid as Gabe is," Hutchinson High School freshman head coach Mace Kroll says.
Friday, Oct. 18, 2019
A Hutchinson High School football player is recovering in a Wichita hospital after taking a hit during a game this week.
Freshman Gabe Eye was sidelined during a home football game Monday night against Derby.
Initially, school officials were worried he might have a head injury.
Instead, Jessica Eye says her son suffered a ruptured spleen and a fractured backbone. She says once she saw the hit, she knew something was wrong.
"I couldn’t relax, the game kind of ended for me and I was just focused on him from the stands," said Eye. "He knew something was wrong, he’s taken a lot of hard hits but he knew something was wrong in his abdomen."
Gabe was rushed to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center where he passed out before entering the hospital. From there he was transported to Wesley Children's Hospital for surgery.
Now, after a week in the ICU, he's being moved to a regular room.
Jessica received the news on the same day her youngest son turned six years old. She said it was like a gift.
"It was such a good day, he could carry on a conversation with us he had just keeping his eyes closed and you would just get thumbs up and some nods," she recalls, "get his opinion about his care it’s a big deal."
Jessica says she appreciates the community support, especially on social media. She says Gabe thanks everyone for their well wishes.
"I read him a lot of messages to him and it’s pretty overwhelming to him to see how many people are thinking about him," said Jessica. "My heart is full I’m just overwhelmed with the outreach and the support from the community."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses and to keep the community up-to-date on Gabe's condition.