Mentor freshman football player released from hospital

MENTOR, Ohio — A freshman football player who was flown to the MetroHealth Medical Center has now been released from the hospital.

The announcement was made to Mentor football players in the locker room Friday night by coaching staff.

Mentor starting running back Matt Gianfagna was involved in a head-to-head collision with one minute left in the freshman game against Brunswick Thursday night, according to the team’s coach.

The family had said his head is OK, but doctors were concerned about his spinal cord.

Matt told the doctors he still felt a tingling sensation all over and had limited mobility to his hands and fingers.

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After the collision, medics showed up right away and called LifeFlight because there was fear that he didn’t have any feeling.

They say he went unconscious immediately after the hit but regained consciousness within minutes.

Matt Gianfagna

Matt Gianfagna

Medics say part of the reason he is doing better is because one of Gianfagna’s teamate’s dad works at Mentor fire department and was able to get help right away.

“His son plays for the Mentor High School team so he was able to walk down the stands and get on the field probably within a minute the incident,” said Mentor Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Busher and Battalion Chief Chris Tillman. “So he gave that kid the best chance he could possibly have.”

The other player involved in the head-on collision was not hurt, and the teams were actually able to finish the game since there was only one minute left when the injury happened.

Gianfagna’s family released a statement to the media Friday morning:

Matt is recovering comfortably at MetroHealth. Thank you to all in the community for your support and the MetroHealth staff for their great care.

We’re ever so thankful for the outpouring of love and concern from the Mentor High School coaching staff and administration, and want to send a special thank you to the first responders at the game for working so quickly and taking such great care of Matt.
Another heartfelt thank you to all Matt’s friends’ parents for showing us what a wonderful community we live in.
We are huge believers in the power of prayer and just ask that you keep Matt in your prayers for a smooth recovery . He is looking forward to getting back on the football field next year.

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