In-game injury leaves Jefferson football player paralyzed from shoulder down

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A severe neck and spinal injury during a high school football game left a Bloomington Jefferson freshman without feeling below his neck.

Ethan Glynn wears No. 8 for the Jefferson Jaguar freshman football team as a defensive player. Head coach for the Jaguars Tim Carlson said Glynn is a strong tackler.

Unfortunately, as Glynn went in for a tackle late in the first quarter Friday morning in a game against Chaska, Coach Carlson said those who saw it say Glynn tripped before making the tackle and went headfirst into the opposing player.

Coach Carlson said once he saw Glynn not get up after the tackle, he and the training staff went to his side.

“Ethan’s a smart kid and as they were asking him questions, [Ethan] knew the answers he was giving were not good answers on what he could feel or touch,” Coach Carlson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

According to a CaringBridge page created by the Glynn family, Ethan was “unable to feel anything after a tackle. He suffered a severe neck & spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.”

Since then, he’s had multiple surgeries, including one Friday, that lasted more than seven hours. 

“He’s [also] a hockey player and baseball player and he’s a fighter — he’s a strong, strong kid,” Coach Carlson said. He continued, “I’ve seen him be stubborn, he’s going to be stubborn about this, and I think he’ll be okay in the long run.”

Someone familiar with what lies ahead for Ethan says that support will be key.

“[It’s] such an unfortunate injury for Ethan and anyone that has to deal with paralysis,” Jack Jablonski said.

In 2011, Jablonski was a sophomore hockey player for the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights when he was checked into the boards from behind — paralyzing him from the chest down.

Since his injury, Jablonski has been a fierce advocate for people with spinal cord injuries and has raised thousands of dollars for research through the Jack Jablonski Foundation.

Not letting his injury slow him down, he’s taken great strides on his road to recovery — recently sharing a video of himself eating crackers and dip without help.

Jablonski is also sharing this message for Ethan and his family:

“This isn’t the end. There’s so much more to live for, whether you have paralysis or not – and to be able to focus on recovery is so important at this time.”

The Glynn family has received an outpouring of support from the community. In a CaringBridge post on Monday, the family shared what they call a “big win” with Ethan being able to sit at an angle.

They also shared a message about the support they’ve received:

We want everyone to know that we feel the love & appreciate all the support. We can’t express enough how thankful we are.

– Corey & Cassidy Durkin Glynn

A GoFundMe — which has raised more than $50 thousand since Monday afternoon — has been started as well.