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Wharton High School student Sean McNamee wakes up from coma after football accident

6:32 PM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A Wharton High School Football player injured before practice last week and then placed into a medically-induced coma, has woken up.

School board officials say McNamee woke up Friday, recognized his parents and is communicating.

Sean McNamee, 16, jumped up to catch a ball last Wednesday before football practice drills started and he fell down and hit his head on a paint machine.

"He fell from the peak of his jump all the way down onto the corner of the paint machine," said teammate Delvin O'Donovan, one of the team's senior offensive lineman who watched Sean fall.

Sean suffered a a fractured skull, a swollen brain, and injuries so severe doctors at Florida Hospital Tampa were forced to put him in a medically-induced coma.

SEE ALSO: Community expresses support for injured football player

RELATED: Injured high school football player's family hires attorney

At Wharton High School Friday, the news spread quickly through social media and word of mouth.

Charles Cese-Soto has known Sean since elementary school and says, "Well, I've been hearing the story about Sean waking up ever since I stepped into the school this morning and to me it's a huge relief."

He adds, "I have a feeling like that's going to help us today since we have our home game today. It's amazing news. Everybody's been going on about it."

It's a home game for Wharton and it's homecoming. They play Alonso High School at 7 p.m. Friday night.

On Friday afternoon, Sean's family issued the following statement through their attorney Steve Yerrid:

"As promised, I wanted to provide an update regarding Sean McNamee's condition and where we are in terms of our investigation. 

First, on behalf of the entire McNamee Family I have been asked to express their great appreciation for the absolutely tremendous outpouring of support.  The prayers of many have been heard and today, Sean emerged from his coma.  He was able to recognize and acknowledge the doctors, his mother, his father, his grandfather and several others.  Amazingly, he was also able to respond to commands and had the ability to squeeze the hands of his loved ones for the first time since this horrific incident unfolded.  We will continue to update all those people who have prayed for Sean and his family.  Please continue to support them as we witness a miracle occurring.

With regard to our investigation, we have learned there is extensive video footage available from a number of different surveillance cameras.  We have requested copies of all of the relevant footage and the attorneys for the school board have agreed to provide those video copies.

We have interviewed a number of Sean's teammates, many of them eyewitnesses to critically important events of that day.  Unfortunately, some of these young men and their families have expressed a reluctance to come forward because they fear recrimination, loss of playing time, or other concerns that are making them hesitant to tell us what occurred. 

I can only urge those with information to step forward with the truth. I assure everyone that we will deal quickly and decisively with anyone who attempts to penalize or in other way silence the witnesses to this tragedy. I am certain the school board and its attorneys will assist us in seeing to it that all the facts are made known regarding the events of that day.

Please contact our law firm with any information that may be helpful.  If contacted by us, we ask you to come forward. The truth, the whole truth, needs to be known by Sean, his family, his fellow student athletes and the entire community.

We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts."

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