(WBIR, Knoxville) - An East Tennessee high school football player is continuing to recover at UT Medical Center after a frightening injury ended his football career.
Seth Haynes of the Kingston Yellowjackets was making a tackle on the opening kickoff against Sequoyah when he broke his neck.
His mother, Tammie Haynes, said she was walking on the track when it happened. She said at first she thought her son wasn't moving.
"When I got about halfway towards him I could see his feet. He was kicking one of his feet because he was in so much pain," said Tammie.
He was taken to UT Medical Center where a CT scan revealed Seth had broken his neck. His mom said he shattered his third vertebrae and shifted the fourth.
He had surgery Saturday night where they repaired the shattered vertebrae and put a rod in his back.
"Never in a million year do you think it is going to happen to yours, but it could have happened to any of those kids out there. And this time it just happened to be Seth, but we'll do what we got to do and get him back to where he needs to be," said Tammie.
She said her son knew the extent of the injury when he was in the emergency room Friday. She said he is just glad he will be able to walk again.
Although he won't be on the field playing next Friday, Seth said he wants to be at the game.
"He's already asked if he can go to the football game Friday night, and I said we'll have to see how you are feeling," said Tammie.
Tammie says the support for Seth has been overwhelming.