One year after accident, paralyzed football player attends first game

This Saturday will mark one year since 16-year-old Ethan Glynn was paralyzed during a high school football game. 

Glynn, who was injured during the first game of the season last year, was on the sidelines for this year’s home opener. It’s the first regular season game he’s attended since he lost all feeling below his shoulders after taking a hit on the field.

"It’s fun to watch," said Glynn, who doesn’t blame the game of football for what happened to him. "It’s a one in a billion chance."

In many ways, Glynn is a normal teenager. He stays up late playing video games with his friends, he sleeps in way longer than his parents would like, and he jabs with his buddies about professional sports stats. 

"Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing right now if I wasn’t paralyzed," he said. "I don’t really think about it in a bad way, I’m just like, I wonder what I’d be doing."

He returned to the classroom last winter and recently started his Sophomore year at Bloomington-Jefferson High School. 

"We’re kind of a push-forward kind of family, and you can’t undo it," said Ethan’s dad Corey Glynn. "You can’t un-ring that bell, so let’s just keep going forward and whatever happened happened, but let’s focus on the future."

The Glynns have had a busy year adjusting to the injury and trying to maintain normalcy as the parents of two teenage boys. One month after his accident, Glynn transferred to a specialty hospital in Denver, Colorado, where he did extensive rehabilitation and learned how to navigate life in his new wheelchair. In addition, they recently tore down their longtime family home to make way for a new accessible one. 

"In some ways, it feels like it's flown by – like I can’t believe it's been a year- but then you realize how much stuff we’ve accomplished and how much Ethan’s accomplished, and how far we’ve come in those 12 months. It's pretty amazing," said Corey Glynn.

Ethan says continuing advancements in technology give him hope that he’ll eventually get some movement back. Right now, he does occupational therapy at Courage Kenny once a week, along with home exercises every morning and night. 

This Saturday, on the one-year anniversary of the accident, the family says they’ll be at St. John’s University watching their eldest son, Parker, play in his first college game. 

Ethan says he hasn’t given the one-year mark much thought but is happy he’ll be watching football and hanging with family.


Bloomington community shows support for football player paralyzed during game

Nearly a year after a Bloomington football player was left paralyzed during a game, his family members credit their positive outlook on the support system they have around them.