Community raises thousands for injured football player, eagerly awaits his return home

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OLATHE, Kan. — On Saturday thousands of dollars were raised for Olathe East football player James McGinnis. The high school senior has been getting treatment at a Nebraska hospital since September after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a game. His family tells FOX 4 he could be released from the hospital as early as February.

Saturday hundreds met at Olathe East for a pancake breakfast to help pay for James’ expensive rehabilitation at a Lincoln, Nebraska hospital. His father Pat said with each passing day he’s closer to coming home.

“Every week we see these little baby steps and he continues to progress forward and we haven’t really seen any steps back, I think it’s just any moment that he starts to walk on his own,” said Pat McGinnis.

Fellow linebacker Nick Zinn said anyone who knows James isn’t surprised by his progress.

“I knew he was always the last one in the weight room, he was the hardest worker on the team easily. He was always the first in all the sprints, he worked harder than anyone on the team,” said Zinn.

Pat said they hope James will be out of the hospital and recovering from home by February. His teammates said they’ll be waiting.

“We love him and we’re all hoping for him to get better. I know he can do it,” said Zinn.

While James didn’t go down immediately after a hit his father says he and James’ medical team are confident the brain bleeding was caused by a tackle made a few plays earlier. Pat McGinnis said their family and doctors expect James to make a full recovery.

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