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Prayer vigil held for high school football player seriously hurt during game

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A Lawrence County high school stadium was packed with people Sunday evening as the New Castle community came to pray for the recovery of Laurel football player Hayden Hamilton.

Hamilton suffered a severe spinal injury during the season opener Friday night and already he's undergone several surgeries.

His teammates, friends, classmates, neighbors and even strangers are showing their support for him and his family.

Hamilton is recovering at Children's Hospital.


"He's doing well considering the traumatic and devastating injury he sustained," said Dixie Hamilton, Hamilton's grandmother. "We're positive he's going to get through this. We're positive."

The sophomore linebacker was hit in the head by another player's leg.

He underwent two surgeries to stabilize two vertebrae in his neck.

The Laurel football team also participated in Sunday night's vigil, along with players and coaches from other teams in the area, some from as far south as Allegheny County.

Dixie Hamilton told Channel 11 her grandson has movement in his hands and some feeling in his arms, but the next 72 hours are very critical.

"He will face this adversity this challenge with everything he does in his everyday life. And he's the strongest kid I know," she said.

He's been able to move his hands and legs.

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