By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
TIPTON, MO (KCTV) -
A devastating injury to a high school football player has a small Missouri town grieving and rallying in support of Chad Stover and his family.
Stover is in a Missouri hospital fighting for his life after suffering a brain injury during a game on Halloween night in the small central Missouri town of Tipton. There was just six minutes left in Tipton's final game of the season when the junior took a jarring hit that has shaken his community.
To show their support, residents have used nearly 1,200 yards of red ribbons to cover street poles, lights and other stationary objects.
"We've tied bows together. We've cried together and we've prayed together," an emotional Sherla Hagerman of Designs for the Heart said. "Because I'm a football mom and we're a band of mothers, not just brothers. And Amy would do it for me."
Amy is Amy Stover, Chad Stover's mother. She has poured her heart out into a website detailing his condition. She said his youth and good health are in his favor.
"There is nothing we can do but wait," she wrote on Caringbridge.com. "Just feel numb and so very helpless. My very sweet boy. I love so very much."
Tipton School District Superintendent Scott Jarvis is among those hoping for the best for Chad Stover and his family. He said feelings of sadness and compassion pervade the area.
"With Chad's condition, it is moment by moment. Hour by hour. I don't know if we'll ever fully come to grips with this," he said.
Jarvis said administrators, faculty and counselors are working with the high schoolers.
"We've pulled together and we've done a good job," he said."You think you're in Tipton. You are in the middle of nowhere, but we found out that we're not ... People are reaching out to us from all over the place."
The red ribbons have spread on social media and to nearby California where the high school has hung red ribbons and put Chad Stover's No. 18 on the field.
"It was overwhelming to see something that represented our town and our family there," said Hagerman.
A fund has been set up to help Chad Stover's family deal with his medical expenses. If you would like to contribute, you can make a donation at Tipton Latham Bank. Donations should be made to the Chad Stover Benefit fund.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:42:09 GMT
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