Leyton High School Junior Drew Haley was tackled during August 30th’s week 2 football game- suffering a violent knee dislocation. The knee was swollen- but there wasn’t too much pain- so no immediate trip to the hospital was needed.
It wasn’t until the next day that it was discovered that Haley sustained damage to his popliteal artery- well past the timeline needed for surgery for a full recovery.
Drew underwent surgery to repair the artery, but doctors were required to amputate his lower leg due to the extensive damage.
His mother, Alison Haley, says that despite the horrific circumstances, her son Drew is not going to let this be a lifelong setback.
“The first day he found out that the amputation would have to take place, he said ‘I can’t wait to work so hard and get my leg (so) it’s like I never lost it in the first place,” explains Alison. ” He’s incredible. He’s giving his parents the strength when he’s the one going through the trial.”
She says the support from the Dalton, Gurley, Banner County communities and beyond in the last week has been overwhelming as well.
“Being part of a small community, it just has so many opportunities. When you feel like family, it takes it to the next level,” she said. “We don’t have family in the area, so it’s our community who we’re leaning on and giving us the support right now for Drew and our family.”
On Friday, Drew was having a procedure for a final cleanup of the area following Wednesday’s amputation. A family friend in Dalton is setting up a GoFundMe account to help the Haley family to help cover current and future medical expenses for Drew.
Alison says Drew will likely be in Colorado for in-patient rehab for the next week or so, and says his physical therapists have been amazed with his progress so far. After that, he’ll be in out-patient rehab; and hopefully Drew will be back in school within a couple of weeks.
“He’s just a giant. You know… emotionally hes supporting everyone and lifting those who come to lift him. They leave feeling better about it after being around him.”
She adds that Drew plans to overcome this obstacle and get back to his high school life the best he can- including playing basketball for his senior year.
“That’s what he said yesterday, ‘Why would I stop doing everything I was doing before just before things changed?‘ And I’m just like- who is this kid? So he’s a strength… what we attributed to stubbornness before is the strength and determination that’s going to get him through. Because it’s going to be hard- but I have no doubt that he’s going to come out so much stronger on the other side of it.”