Cheerleader Injured in Freak Goalpost Accident

Jenessa Taylor was hit in the head when structure collapsed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2020 2:23 PM CDT
Updated Oct 14, 2020 2:33 PM CDT
500-Pound Goalpost Falls on Cheerleader's Head
Jenessa Thompson is a "fighter," relatives say.   (GoFundMe)

An Oklahoma cheerleader has made what her family says is a miraculous recovery after a metal goalpost fell on her head after a team practice at Cyril High School on Monday. Jenessa Taylor had stayed on the ground with the cheer coach while other members of the cheerleading squad climbed the structure, which weighed an estimated 500 pounds, for a photo, reports KFOR. The 15-year-old was hit on the right side of her head and pinned to the ground when it collapsed. "It just seemed fun, it’s what kids do," says cheer coach Tayler Reynolds. "Never did I think that something as horrific as what happened would happen." The cheerleading squad helped pull the goalpost off the injured teen.

Debbie Thompson, Jenessa's grandmother, says she rushed to the scene a few blocks from her home. "A lot of blood, the ambulance came, and they said they needed to call the chopper," she tells Fox 8. Jenessa was taken by helicopter to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where she was admitted to the ICU. Relatives say they feared she wouldn't survive—but she was walking and talking within 24 hours of the accident. Doctors say she has a broken jaw and fractured skull but no brain bleeds were detected. She also can't see out of her right eye, but it's uncertain whether that is permanent. A GoFundMe campaign set up for Jenessa has raised more than $2,300. (More Oklahoma stories.)

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