BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — A Lowcountry athlete with a bright future ahead is now focused on life off the field after a terrible accident has left him in a Charleston hospital bed.
Seventeen-year-old Anderson Jones was one of five teenagers at a Fripp Island construction site on Sunday. According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s report they went to the roof’s observation deck and as they were coming down, Anderson fell.
Police were called and he was rushed to MUSC in Charleston where doctors say he suffered severe head and spinal injuries and determined he was unable to use his legs.
Jones played soccer and basketball for Beaufort High and was trying out for the football team this Summer.
“The first time I saw him play he was just that guy draws your eye,” said Justin Jarrett of Lowcosports.com. “The hustle player he’s in the middle of everything diving on the ground for loose balls.”
Justin Jarrett of Lowcosports watched many of Anderson’s games for the Eagles. Only 5-7, he played with the heart of a 7-footer.
But as a father himself it was his discussions with Anderson’s dad Jeremy, who is an Assistant Athletic Director at the school, that took him past sports, and brought home how difficult this is and will be.
“He just keeps saying he can’t understand. It’s just really difficult to understand why and how this can happen,” said Jarrett.”
He feels terrible pain for Anderson and how his life is going to change and the hardest part was that he’s still got to learn his legs aren’t going to work. Hopefully they will someday.”
“Just knowing him and knowing the family it hurts all the more,” said Ty Reichel, family friend. “Just knowing someone and realizing how their lives are going to be affected, we are a family here in Beaufort.”
Ty Reichel and her kids are close with the Jones family. Once she got past the shock of Anderson’s injury she knew she had to step up.
So she created a GoFundMe to help pay for his medical and upcoming rehab expenses.
“All the parents keep saying it’s from the bottom of our hearts we are so thankful,” says Reichel. “And of course they aren’t even thinking about the monetary part of it. Its the support, its the comments, its the encouragement.”
“Kids that have played on the soccer team with him. We have had people from Kentucky that have reached out and say we used to play with him in little league or whatever,” Reichel continued. “Some have given $5, some for thousands of dollars.”
LowCoSports wants to do its part as well. They jokingly created the “Anderson Jones Fan Club” after seeing his continuous effort on the court. That tongue in cheek comment will soon turn into t-shirts, with all the proceeds going to Anderson’s needs.
The community is already stepping up. Carpenters and plumbers working to help turn the Jones’ home into a handicapped accessible spot for Anderson.
Donations that hopefully can make a difference in Anderson’s future, while giving he and his family the love they need right now.
“The nature of this community and people here is that we care about one another and when one of us is hurting we want to pick them up,” said Jarrett.
“We believe if anyone can do it he can do it,” said Reichel.
Anderson’s family hopes he can be released from the hospital soon and can go to rehab to start the long road back. The Beaufort community has already planned a “pep rally” for him in Charleston on that day. To cheer him on to recovery.