ATTLEBORO, MASS. (WHDH) – A Massachusetts community is rallying around a high school hockey player who suffered a frightening injury during a game Tuesday night.
A.J. Quetta, a varsity hockey player at Bishop Feehan in Attleboro, was taken off the ice on a stretcher after crashing headfirst into the boards in a game against Pope Francis in Springfield, according to Tim Sullivan, the high school’s president.
“It’s a scary situation to see a young man stretchered off the ice,” Sullivan said Wednesday. “But we also have hope.”
Both teams gathered together at center ice and took a knee in prayer for Quetta following the game.
“Their talent on the ice doesn’t mean nearly as much as what they did after the game last night,” Sullivan said of the moving gesture. “After the final buzzer last night, both teams got together at center ice and prayed together.”
Quetta, a popular senior, is also a member of the school’s lacrosse team.
While the 1,100 students who attend the co-educational Catholic high school are shaken by the incident, they are also hopeful that Quetta will be able to return to the team through the power of prayer and the expertise of the medical community.
“I am the head of a school that’s struggling today,” Sullivan said. “We talk a lot here, thankfully at a school like Feehan, about prayer. We talked a lot more about it here today.”
The Boston Bruins also released a statement, wishing Quetta well in his recovery.
The school’s upcoming home hockey game has been postponed. It’s not clear when the team will return to the ice.
A GoFundMe has since been set up to help cover Quetta’s medical expenses.
He remained hospitalized as of Wednesday night.
Quetta’s family released the following statement:
“The Quetta family would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support for our son AJ, who suffered a spinal cord injury while playing for the Bishop Feehan High School hockey team Tuesday night in Springfield.
AJ was transported from Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Wednesday evening. AJ underwent surgery Wednesday night performed by surgeon AJ Pisano.
‘The outpouring of support is incredible,’ said Anthony Quetta, Sr. ‘People have been unbelievable and my wife Nicole and I are grateful. We would like to thank the doctors, nurses and first responders for their extraordinary efforts to help our son. We can’t thank everyone enough for all the heartfelt messages of support. At this time, we would appreciate everyone’s understanding of our family’s privacy. Thank you again for keeping AJ in your prayers.'”
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