Photographer Falls, Fractures Spine While Taking Picture of Rams QB

Rams QB paying for Kelly Smiley's expenses
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2022 1:00 AM CST

Kelly Stafford, wife of Rams quarterback Matt Stafford, appeared to hand her phone to sports photographer Kelly Smiley during the Super Bowl LVI victory celebration Wednesday. As Smiley stepped backward to take the photo, she fell right off the 10-foot-high stage, fracturing her spine. As Kelly Stafford hurried to check on her, Matt Stafford appeared to not realize how serious the incident was as he smiled and walked off, People reports. The couple and the Rams later released a joint statement announcing the Staffords are paying Smiley's medical bills and replacing the photography equipment that was broken in the fall.

Smiley, who is a photo editor for the NFL and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, was initially posting to social media about her hospitalization, including a video of her in a back brace, but since appears to have deleted Twitter and made her Instagram private. A GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $48,000 to help Smiley says the photographer, who has been discharged from the hospital, "is very thankful and is overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that has been shown." Now that the Staffords are paying her medical expenses, TMZ reports it's not clear what will become of the crowdfunding campaign. (More Los Angeles Rams stories.)

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