WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) - For the first time since his injury, the family of Sam Dailey is speaking about his injury. Dailey, who plays football at Columbia City, suffered a severe brain injury during the team's first game of the year.
Jessica Laux, who is Dailey's aunt, said her nephew still has three to six months of therapy left.
"He's walking just fine," Laux told NewsChannel 15 Wednesday. "His balance has come back really well. I think his headaches are lessening. He had bad headaches for quite a while. They are also restricting him on too much movement. They're not letting him jump during physical therapy."
Dailey, according to his aunt, needed emergency brain surgery back in August. "There was a shift in his brain and there was an aneurysm, or a burst, that caused pressure on his brain," Laux said.
Dailey has been back at home for nearly a month, but has therapy four days a week.
"They're really working with him on trying to regain a lot of what he lost in his memory, mostly his short-term memory," Laux said. She added that is reading has been his schoolwork. "He's a senior, and he needs to graduate this year."
Laux said a teacher from Columbia City has been going to the Dailey home to tutor him, and the school is allowing him to take courses online.
Since Dailey's injury was considered catastrophic, the IHSAA is paying for his medical costs. However, his parents are working less to stay home and take care of their son.
There's a benefit Saturday to help the Dailey family with any additional costs. It takes place from 4-9 p.m. at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds. Laux said it will include live music, a hog roast and a live auction. The cost is a free-will donation.
Some of the items in the silent auction include:
- Indianapolis Colts tickets
- Fort Wayne Komets tickets
- 32" television
- Mac Netbook
- Signed autograph items
Laux said several businesses in Columbia City have also helped raise money.
The Carroll football has also helped. The team has created a t-shirt for its Neon Nation, the nickname given to the school's student section. The t-shirt reads "#Liftforlife", with the number 80, Dailey's jersey number.
The team sold 601 shirts and had a weightlifting fundraiser. Jeremy Percey, Connor Purgess and Blake Yager were the three players who started the fundraiser for Dailey's family.
"We just decided to help because we know what it's like to be a high school student," Yager said. "We know what it's like to go through football every day after school."
The team, which plays Columbia City Friday night, said it expected to raise approximately $2,500 for Dailey.
Laux said it's been overwhelming to see so much support from so many organizations, including the Carroll football team. "It's like they're part of a football family," she said. "No matter what team they're from, to show that kind of support, it really shows our wonderful community we live in."
Laux said other schools have shown support, too. At Bellmont, the school had painted "#80" on the field, and Homestead players wore #80.
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