Soccer Player Brett Gravatt Seriously Injured In Snowboarding Accident

UPDATE: 4:55 PM

Gravatt is continuing to recover in Shepherd Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta, where he is beginning to try and regain the use of his lower body.

Since the injury, coaches, teammates, friends and family have flocked to the various facilities where Gravatt has been housed to show their love and support, per a release from Penn State Athletics.

“Accidents can happen to any of us and I have told our players, what if it was you? What would you want your teammates to do,” said head soccer coach Bob Warming. “‘One Team’ is a motto of our athletic department and as I have told people before, the ‘One Team’ theme really means that we are all in this life together, to help each other, to be there when others need us, to support each other, to work together to make things better. It is our challenge and call to action to do this on a daily basis. In this instance, how can we help make things better for Brett?”

According to an email from Brett’s mother Lora, every aspect of Gravatt’s life has to be relearned from dressing and bathing to daily living and mobility. The family will need to undergo renovations, including a ramp and a first floor bedroom and bathroom, to improve accessibility for Gravatt. Specialized equipment and resources will be necessary such as wheelchairs, ramps, modified bathrooms, and a car with hand controls will be necessary to assist Brett in his daily living. The family has set up a website (www.praying4brett.com) for donations to help cover the cost.

“The process of rehab includes learning how to live life differently,” Lora Gravatt said. “His athleticism and drive that got him to Penn State to begin with is going to be the same drive that gets him back on campus and among his teammates as soon as humanly possible.”

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Penn State men’s soccer player Brett Gravatt needs the support of the Penn State community today.

The sophomore defender fractured his #6 Thoracic vertebrate on Dec. 26 in a snowboarding accident, resulting in a serious injury to his spinal cord according to an update by his mother Lora. Gravatt underwent emergency back surgery to stabilize the fracture that night, requiring two rods and eight screws later that night. A native of Virginia, Gravatt was transferred from in Charlottesville to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga., which focuses on spinal cord injuries.

Gravatt’s family has set up a website to update friends and the public on his recovery from the accident. They are also raising money to support his return home which will require accessibility upgrades to the Gravatt’s residence, transportation to support his mobility, and treatment and rehab. Under the name “Praying 4 Brett,” the family set up a You Caring page seeking $25,ooo for the improvements. With Gravatt’s mother being a Baptist pastor, the family also set up a Sign Up Genius page for prayers for Brett.

Gravatt, an Akron transfer, played in 11 of Penn State’s matches this past season, starting in three. The sophomore scored the game-winning goal for the Nittany Lions’ in their first round win over Hartwick in the NCAA Tournament.

Gravatt has already seen an outpouring of support on his Twitter page, even tweeting out a picture of himself in a hospital room. It’s time for the Penn State community to rally around another Penn Stater to help with his recovery from a horrific accident.

Penn State did not have a comment on the accident at this time.

Photo via Craig Houtz/GoPSUSports

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About the Author

Ted Hozza

Ted is a senior majoring in Community, the Environment, and Development, or as his friends here at Onward State like to call it, Architecture. You can probably find him at the Phyrst late at night with other Onward Staters if he's not somewhere else editing articles. You can follow him on Twitter @TedHozza or email him at [email protected]

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