CLEWISTON – Devon Jackson loved the game of football and gave it everything he had.
Friday night, Sept. 9, his dream of being a professional football player likely ended when he was hospitalized after the Tigers game against Fort Pierce Central.
Jackson became sick on the bus as the team headed back to Clewiston. He had headaches, vomited, and became unresponsive and the bus had to stop in Okeechobee, where a medical helicopter transported Jackson to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce.
His sister Nickeita Brown said Jackson underwent brain surgery for blood on the brain and a bruised lung and had part of his skull removed. She reported that Jackson is getting better and his health has improved on a daily basis.
Jackson, 17, has a long road toward recovery. Brown said he will have to undergo speech and physical therapy but should be able to live a normal life.
As far as football, his dream of one day playing college and even professional football likely ended Friday.
“He had a bright future,” Brown said, “He had offers from several schools and some of them were from out of state.”
She said the University of Miami and Oklahoma had expressed interest in her brother.
The senior wide receiver is the son of Ronald Jackson and Phyllis Burchell of Clewiston. He grew up in Clewiston and played youth football and middle school football. Brown said he just loved the game.
“He just loved football in every way. He played the game, watched the game, football was everything to him,” she added.
A Go Fund me page has been set up online to help the family with some of the medical bills. Brown said there has been an outflowing of support from the Clewiston community for her brother. She said there are plans underway to hold a banquet to honor Devon.
His fellow students also have sent him a large card with best wishes and get well wishes.
“He is a very good spirited kid, with a huge smile, and everyone likes him. We thank the community for their support,” she added.