Cal Poly football walk-on injured in pool accident
June 11, 2016
Jake Javier, who was to walk on with the Cal Poly football team in the fall, was injured in a pool accident Thursday night, one day prior to his graduation from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, according to a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo press release.
Named Athlete of the Year at San Ramon Valley, Javier, a 6 foot 3 inches tall, 260-pound offensive lineman whose father is a Hayward police officer, had planned to major in mechanical engineering.
“Jake is a great young man, a quality guy and he was at our Spring Game in April,” said Tim Walsh, the Mustang’s head coach. “We were looking forward to his arrival at Cal Poly, but now our thoughts and prayers are with him as we hope for his best possible recovery.”
Javier fell from a hot tub into a pool at a friend’s house and broke his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. He was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he underwent surgery, his aunt Diane Blardony told the East Bay Times.
A statement from San Ramon Valley High School said the student underwent surgery. “He had surgery to stabilize his spine, but he is paralyzed from the chest down and will likely not regain the use of his legs,” the statement said.
Blardony added that Javier has been heavily sedated and the extent of any permanent damage is still unknown. He is expected to be in the intensive care unit for at least the next two weeks.
“He, for sure, is not going to walk again, but we do hope that — once he is awake and over time — he will regain use of his hands,” Blardony said.
The school hosted a vigil Thursday on the football field, attended by about 200 of Javier’s friends and family members. Blardony attended the graduation ceremony at San Ramon Valley High School on Friday, where a friend accepted Javier’s diploma.
A GoFundMe page for medical costs raised more than $27,700 in a matter of hours, with contributions continuously pouring in.
Hours after the accident, Javier’s sister, Gabby Javier, tweeted, “Let this be a reminder to everyone to live in the moment and to not take the simple things in life for granted, such as the ability to run or the ability to retain memories.”
In a letter to parents and teachers, San Ramon Valley Principal Ruth Steele said, “Jake is a special young man, and this tragic accident has left our staff, students and families absolutely devastated.”