Wrestler injured in East Campus sledding accident

Shawn McFarland
@McFarland_Shawn

Springfield College freshman Griffin Reid suffered a serious head injury while sledding at East Campus on Jan. 4.

Reid, a wrestler, was participating in a scheduled, common team-building activity at East Campus in the late afternoon.

The team, head coach Jason Holder and two assistant coaches, were split up for the activities – one of which was sledding. Reid was in the second sledding group. Springfield College did not comment on how exactly Reid was injured.

The coaches immediately called public safety. Reid was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Holder accompanied Reid in the ambulance to the hospital. Reid’s mother Julie was notified.

Reid, a West Hartford, Conn. native, spent several days in a rehabilitation center in New Britain, Conn. He was diagnosed with a brain injury and an infection in his mouth from a cut he got in the accident.

He was rushed to Hartford Hospital for an emergency surgery to drain his infection on Jan. 12.

Reid was back home as of Jan. 20, and is taking the semester off to recover. He began outpatient rehabilitation Monday, Jan. 22. According to a post on his GoFundMe page, his memory is returning, but there is still serious swelling on his face.

Safety is our first priority at Springfield College,” said Vice President of Communication and External Affairs Stephen Roulier. “The College is taking this incident very seriously and continues to stay in close touch with Griffin and his family. Right now our focus is on Griffin and his family. The entire Springfield College community is encouraged by the good news that Griffin has returned home last Friday and we hope we can welcome him back to campus soon.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Shannon Finning explained that the school is doing all it can to help Reid and his family. Finning added that Dean of Students Sue Knowlan has been in contact with the family almost every day. Knowlan, Finning and others packed up Reid’s belongings, filed a leave of absence for him and Reid, “won’t be charged anything for this semester.”

“Anything that we can do to alleviate the additional burden that wears you down, we try to do,” Finning said. “Families need to focus on getting their students well.”

Finning said that Holder and the wrestling team have been in touch with Reid frequently. Many victims of serious head injuries – even concussions or contusions – struggle with communicating in the immediate aftermath of that kind of injury.

“The coaches, and a good amount of us saw him in the hospital,” teammate Aarin Feliz said. “Guys went to his house, myself and a few others have been texting him and he’s been keeping us updated. Nothing but support for our teammate.”

As of Wednesday night, $22,571 has been raised on Reid’s GoFundMe page. According to the original post by NAME, Julie Reid is employed per diem, and taking the time off to care for Griffin has cut into her ability to work. To donate, visit gofundme.com/griffinreid.

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