Elks football player making miraculous recovery
Jonathan Lopez recorded his first two tackles of the football season Friday night as Burleson defeated Joshua, 45-3. The win lifted Burleson into a three-way tie for first place in District 9-5A.
Now, Jonathan's teammates are lifting him in prayer, and he seems to have made a miraculous recovery.
The junior joined teammates following the victory at Buffalo Wild Wings. He was on the tailgate of a truck waiting to leave when it unexplainably "jumped," Coach Gary McElroy said, and he ended up in intensive care at John Peter Smith hospital after a severe bump to his head on the tailgate and concrete.
The injury left Jonathan with "brain bleeding, swelling of the brain and a couple fractures on his skull," according to a post at a fundraising page devoted to Jonathan at gofundme.com/2sxy446s.
Tuesday, McElroy learned from Jonathan's father that he might be released from the hospital.
"He's still going to have a lot of doctor visits," McElroy said. "My understanding is he's being removed from ICU."
The news surprised McElroy, who had expected Jonathan's condition to first be downgraded before being released from care.
"We're excited about this news for Jonathan," McElroy said.
He had written in a Facebook post Monday that "some small improvements" had been made, but it would be "a slow process, as far as the healing goes," asking teammates and fans to pray for Jonathan.
A fundraiser has been announced through Facebook to support Jonathan and his family. A smoked chicken dinner will be served for $8 at 5 p.m. in the parking lot outside Burleson ISD Stadium before Burleson meets Everman in a District 9-5A game. Food was donated, allowing 100 percent of proceeds to go toward Jonathan's medical expenses. Donations will also be accepted.
The Elks also have a surprise in store for Jonathan.
"We're going to recognize him. That's going to be unveiled Friday," McElroy said. "Jonathan is someone everyone likes and enjoys being around."