MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A University of South Alabama football player is learning to walk again after colliding with a teammate during practice in October.
Folks in the community are rallying behind Marvin Martin, better known as ‘MJ’, to support him in his long road to recovery.
MJ’s mother, Dorothy Martin, says she was at home when she received a phone call no mother ever wants to hear.
“He said, you might have to go to Alabama. And I said ‘why?’ He said, ‘MJ’s been in an accident. I said, ‘a car accident?’ He said no- an accident on the football field. So by that time I was getting another phone call which was Coach. They had got him prepared on a stretcher to take him to the hospital,” said Dorothy Martin.
“He’s like– mom, mom- you gotta pray for me right now- and I was like, ‘what’s wrong?’ and he was like, ‘I can’t feel anything. I can’t move and I can’t feel anything,” added Martin.
MJ grew up playing on the football field all of his life. His mother says MJ is like no other.
″He never gave me any trouble- he’s that kid that liked to work out. He loved football. He didn’t mind getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to go workout. He didn’t mind getting up that time to work out– and he’d get up the next morning to do the same thing,” explained Martin.
MJ joined the Jag’s football program for his first season this year after transferring from K-State.
When Martin got the call that her son was hurt, it came as a blow.
“We sat there for a few minutes and prayed and then the doctors came in—and they were telling us he had a spinal injury and that his spinal cord had swollen and that was the reason why he couldn’t move anything. He couldn’t stand to be touched at the time,” stated Martin.
MJ’s hard work ethic has not faltered since the injury. He’s been in Jackson, Miss. at a rehabilitation center since late October. He’s fighting every day to get better.
“He don’t mind working hard– he’s working very hard in therapy. He’s also having respiratory issues too and they said they go along with the injury– so he’s trying. As long as he’s trying, I am gonna give him an ‘A’ for trying,” said Martin.
In the midst of uncertainty, Martin launched a Go Fund Me fundraiser to help her son. In just three days- she’s raised over 14 thousand dollars for his medical expenses.
″I am disabled myself- I battle with lupus everyday so I don’t work. Therefore, I thought about– we’re going through this, and not knowing the certainty of his injury, I wasn’t sure where does my end up– because we still in that waiting process– where do we go from here?” said Martin.
“With a spinal cord injury—it’s just like a waiting season. They can’t really tell you anything—it’s just a waiting process. And now that he’s able to move his legs and arms and stuff- but he’s still got a long way to go but he’s not walking and he’s in a paralysis state now,” she added.
The supportive response to MJ’s injury has been overwhelming– from the Jag Program to generous donors giving online.
″The Coach has been great, the University’s been great, and they’ve been behind me 100 percent—you know, just trying to get him back to his health,” concluded Martin.
“Keep the prayers coming, coming, coming,” she pleaded.
If you’d like to give to the Go Fund Me fundraiser, visit the link here.
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