Vigil honors paralyzed San Ramon Valley grad
DANVILLE (KTVU) -- Friends and family came out Sunday night to honor a San Ramon Valley High School graduate who suffered a traumatic injury that left him unable to move a day before his scheduled high school graduation.
Jake Javier, 18, and the son of a Hayward police officer, was set to fulfill his dream to play college football. Now, he's in rehab and it’s uncertain if he will walk again.
On the same football field where he played the game, hundreds of people came together Sunday night to pray for a miracle.
“My brother was going to play football at Cal Poly and now we hope he can just use his hands,” said Jake’s brother, Cameron Javier.
Javier is tackling his toughest battle yet. He was airlifted to the hospital after breaking his neck following a dive into the shallow end of a friend's swimming pool back on June 9. The incident has left him paralyzed.
The accident happened a day before graduation. Javier's best friend accepted his diploma. He was set to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to play football and study mechanical engineering.
“It’s hard to imagine what has transpired, this catastrophic injury,” said Jason Kane, a family friend.
Javier is now off oxygen support and out of the intensive care unit at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. He’ll now undergo respiratory rehabilitation at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for the next two weeks. Then, he’s headed to physical therapy at Craig Hospital in Denver.
"I’ve been there almost every day and seeing him gives us so much strength,” said friend Bijan Shokrollahi. “He is such a great man and I know if anyone can get through this it will be him."
Javier’s spirits were lifted by the community's support, a Go Fund Me page that’s raised more than $187,000 and hospital visits from former NFL player Ronnie Lott and Oakland Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr.
“Oh yea, he smiles big time from ear to ear and recently he's been able to talk so that's been great,” said Shokrollahi. “We will have conversations.”
The community is hoping and praying for the best that soon Javier will move his hands and ultimately walk again.
"Doctors have told them it's going to be a long road but if there is a possibility," Kane said. "It's going to happen. That's the kind of young man Jake is."
The family said they continue to need prayers and positive thoughts since the family will learn this week if Javier is a candidate for stem cell therapy.