Farmerville football player taken off of life support - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Farmerville football player taken off of life support

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FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A tackle during Spring football practice Thursday was what coaches are calling "textbook" but it ended in the death of 17-year-old Jaleel Gipson.

"I think the grieving process actually started over the weekend," says Principal of Farmerville H. S. David Gray, "today it hadn't been as much of a shock, it's kind of been a day of it just settling in."

The high school Junior fractured a vertebrae, and remained on life support at LSU-Hospital in Shreveport over the weekend.

"It has it has been an exhausting weekend," says Gray, who along with several coaches stayed by Gipson's side over much of the weekend.

"It's heart-wrenching, it's a very hard process to watch and being a father myself," says Gray, "couldn't imagine going through it."

Gray was there when the family was faced with a tough decision.

"They made a very unselfish decision, many lives are going to be touched by this, many lives are going to be able to continue because of the donation the family decided that Jaleel could do," says Gray.

Monday morning, Gipson was taken off life support and his organs were donated.

"I'm very fortunate in having known Jaleel," says Gray, "and being able to remember that smile, the smile that Jaleel had."

A memorial account has been set up for the family's expenses. Donations to the Jaleel Gipson Fund can be made at any Marion State Bank location.

UPDATE Monday 3:00 PM: LSU Hospital in Shreveport confirms that 17-year-old Jaleel Gipson died this morning after being taken off of life support.

A memorial account has been set up for the family's expenses. Donations to the Jaleel Gipson Fund can be made at any Marion State Bank location.

UPDATE Monday 9:00 AM:

Farmerville High School Principal David Gray reports that Jaleel Gipson, 17, remains on life support.

Gray says the family has put Gipson on the organ donation list, and the process of donating should be complete Monday afternoon. No funeral arrangements have been made.

Gray says Gipson's condition deteriorated over the weekend. He fractured a vertebrae at Spring football practice Thursday.

Counselors are on-site at Farmerville High School for students and faculty.

UPDATE Sunday 11:30 AM:

LSU Hospital in Shreveport confirms that Jaleel Gipson, 17, remains in critical condition.

Gipson was transported to Shreveport after getting injured at football practice Thursday. Farmerville High Principal David Gray says Gipson fractured a vertebrae.

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FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The family of Farmerville High School football player Jaleel Gipson is asking for prayers after an injury Thursday leaves Gipson with broken vertebrae.

17 year-old Jaleel Gibson and his high school football teammates were practicing tackle drills on this baseball field yesterday after school...but things did not go as planned.

"Jaleel was carrying the football. He was head up in the exact position he needs to be. The tackler lead with his shoulder as textbook, as taught and just an extremely unfortunate circumstance occurred. Tragic, a very tragic situation," said David Gray.

The principal says after Jaleel went down he couldn't get back up, despite all the efforts of school and medical personnel.

"We have a trainer on sight at every practice. That trainer was immediately involved in the situation. 911 was called and paramedics arrived," said David Gray.

After the injury at about four o'clock Jaleel was taken from this baseball field to the hospital. He was then flown to LSU Shreveport where he is still getting medical attention.

"He is still in critical condition and apparently there is a neck injury involved. Apparently there is a fracture of a vertebrae," said David Gray.

Jaleel's family and friends are asking for prayers on his behalf.

"We're simply hoping and praying for a recovery that leaves him in perfect condition," said David Gray.

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