Midwest high school football player fights inflamed heart after bad hit

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MOLINE, Ill. — Moline football fans will wear red on Friday night at the home football game against Galesburg.

They’re showing their support for teammate, Dakovion (Kovi) Kennedy, who was sidelined after a mystery illness took over after a bad hit at practice a week ago, according to a report by WQAD.

Kovi lives with his aunt, Angelina Kennedy, right across the street form Moline’s Browning Field, where he should be for Friday night’s game.

“He’s ready to go home,” Angelina said. “He wants it to be over. I know he’s ready.”

Kovi is currently fighting for his life at Old Saint Francis Hospital in Peoria where doctors are trying to figure out what’s wrong.

“There’s nothing,” Angelina said. “They haven’t found out anything. There’s nothing to go by – it’s just every day a question mark.”

Football is known to be a high impact sport, but the hit Kovi took developed into a fever that wouldn’t break.

“The hit is what caused us to keep going back to the doctor,” Angelina said. “Otherwise, we would have listened to the doctor and said, you know, it’ll wear it’s course. Your fever will eventually break like the doctor said.”

Doctors at OSF determined Kovi’s heart is inflamed and beating irregularly.

“He’s highly sedated,” Angelina said. “They want to keep him that way because it calms his heart.”

Doctors still don’t know if Kovi has a virus or if the hit had anything to do with the illness. Angelina and family go to visit Kovi every day and wait for more news.

“They say it’s going to be a long road,” Angelina says.

The family is expecting test results from a heart biopsy to come in on Friday, which could give the family more closure.

Kovi’s teammates are visiting him in Peoria on Saturday and his 16th birthday is on Sunday.

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