Student Awakes to Amputated Leg After Freak Football Accident

Leshawn WilliamsLast Friday, high school senior Leshawn Williams, 17, went down on the football field with a knee injury. The 6-foot, 330-pound defensive lineman was examined by medical personnel at the scene, and eventually taken to the hospital for further observation.

The Tampa Bay teen's mom, Bonita Copeland, was forced to make an awful decision for her son before the weekend was out -- on Sunday evening, Williams' right leg was amputated right above the knee.


So how did he go from suffering what initially looked like a routine knee injury to becoming an amputee two days later? It appears as though the blood vessels in his knee were shredded, which caused a blood clot, and disrupted the circulation to his lower leg.

The injured teen tweeted from his hospital bed on Saturday, "I never cried so much in life! Waiting on results! Cnt (sic) move my toes." It's absolutely devastating to think of such a big strong young man weeping over his injured leg -- and that was before he even knew it was going to be amputated.

In fact, he didn't even know he was losing his leg until after the surgery. His mom didn't tell him until after he woke up. "I don't think he's grasped it all yet," Copeland said. "He's still recovering. We're all still trying to understand it."

This is exactly the kind of incident that keeps a lot of parents from allowing their kids to play contact sports. Yes, it was a freak accident, but still, it happens. Is it worth the risk in high school to risk the future of your health for a game?

Then again, experts say this type of injury is very rare, especially in an otherwise healthy, young athlete, and even with his life-changing injury, Williams still supports his team.

Coach Jeremy Frioud said on Monday, "This was just freakish, awful luck ... But we're going to be there as a team to help ... The first thing (Williams) texted to us after this happened was 'play hard.' That's exactly what we're going to do."

What's your opinion on high school students playing tackle football?


Image via Leshawn Williams/Instagram

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