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Gregory-Portland football player returns to school after suffering collapsed lung in first game of the season

Sophomore Ryder Harrison said when he could not get his breath back after getting hit on a play, he knew something was wrong.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Gregory-Portland Wildcats are off a strong start with a 2-0 record after the first two weeks of the season. 

But in their game against the Calallen Wildcats in week one, there was a moment of concern on the field when a sophomore player left in an ambulance.

He was hit by a defender and struggled to breathe after the play. That is when they decided he needed to go to the hospital.

“I caught the ball, he hit me, and I went down and I couldn’t really breathe,” said G-P Sophomore Ryder Harrison. 
Harrison is in his second year with the varsity football team. He described the moment after he was hit by a defender in what felt like a routine play. But when he could not get his breath back, he knew something was wrong. 
“I never really got it back," Harrison said. "So they said we need to go to the hospital. I walked to the ambulance, they put me in there, and then I went to the Portland hospital immediately.” 

Ryder said he did x-rays, a CAT scan and had a tube inserted at the hospital. Doctors told him he got to the hospital just in time, since the collapsed lung could have been life threatening. 
“They said 30 minutes more and I probably wouldn’t have made it,” Harrison said.
After about an hour and a half in a Portland hospital, he was transported to Driscoll Children’s Hospital for further treatment. His brother Colton Harrison, a senior on the team, said his brother never lost his spirit.
“He’d be texting me from the hospital bed," Colton Harrison said. "And, you know, during the game he’d be watching it and tell my dad to tell me something at halftime or whatever. So, it, that made it a little bit easier knowing that he was at least good enough to be joking around still.”
G-P Head Coach Brent Davis said players and coaches visited Ryder Harrison in the hospital and knew he would come out of it. He said this was the first time he saw something like his injury.
“Over 35 years, I’ve never seen anything where just a normal blow caused that, you know, but it, you know, it can happen,” Davis said.
Ryder spent at least a week at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. Last week he went home and this week he was back in class. Davis said he is a good kid, well–liked and talented.

Doctors told the Harrison brothers that Ryder should be ready to play again toward the end of the regular season. 
“When he’s 100%, he’ll be 100%," Davis said. "And, you know, when we get to that day, it’ll be a good day.”
Doctors told Ryder Harrison that recovery takes about two months for the average person. He said he had support from day one of his injury and knows that support will carry him through. 
“I feel my whole team behind me, my family, the whole town really," Ryder Harrison said. "I’ve been getting gifts in the hospital and it’s just reminding me that I’ve got constant support from everyone.”

Ryder Harrison said his stitches will come out in a week and then he will start doing light workouts. He plans to start lifting again soon and eventually rejoin his brother on the field for their last season playing together.

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