CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Encouraging signs have been few and far between for an injured Harvard University football player, but that changed Monday.
It has been nearly four months since Ben Abercrombie suffered a neck injury, but doctors just cleared him to go back home to his native Alabama.
“[We’re] just so happy to have him home,” Ben’s father Marty Abercrombie said.
Ben’s return included a police escort through his hometown of Hoover, Alabama and a cheer from so many of his friends when he arrived.
The challenges aren't over but @HarvardFootball player Ben Abercrombie is home. This, four months after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in his first college game. He and his family say they are elated as are the supporters we spoke with at @Harvard pic.twitter.com/g6ybUyxAk8— Evan White (@EvanWhiteIII) January 9, 2018
“I can't wait to get inside,” Ben said.
Ben’s final football play was in his first collegiate game as a safety for Harvard University. When he fell hard on the ground during a sideline tackle he was left without the ability breathe on his own or move his limbs.
After emergency surgery, he was taken to a special spine center in Atlanta for rehab.
“I'm just thankful for the support it means a lot,” he said.
Some of the support came from Cambridge, where El Jefe’s Taqueria teamed up with the Harvard Varsity Club, an independent non-profit, earlier this winter to raise more than $20,000 for his care. The club also formed a fund in Ben’s name and raised $285,000 for ben and other injured athletes.
“This fund will live forever and will continue to grow so that if anybody has an unfortunate accident/injury in anyone of our 42 varsity programs from now until forever, we will be able to support them we will be able to support that family,” Harvard Varsity Club Executive Director Bob Glatz said.
Ben and his family worked tirelessly to get to this moment…and are encouraged another may be close. Marty says his son started taking breaths on his own, though he still uses the ventilator. Ben has also gained some feeling in his lower body.
“We hope and pray that that is going to lead to great improvement shortly down the road hopefully,” Marty said.
Ben’s goal is to return to Harvard as a student next fall.
To help Ben directly, checks can be sent to Christ the King Lutheran Church, c/o Ben Abercrombie Fund 611 Riverchase Parkway West, Hoover Alabama, 35244. Donations can also be made online at https://www.ctkbham.org/.
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