San Ramon Valley High senior Jake Javier faces a tough battle after breaking his neck in a swimming pool accident on Thursday, June 9th. The injury, which the high school football star suffered while celebrating the last day of school at a pool party with friends, has left him paralyzed from the chest down. At some point during the party, Javier fell from a hot tub into a friend’s pool, hitting his head. According to a statement from San Ramon Valley High School, which he was due to graduate the next day, Javier will likely not regain the use of his legs. Before the swimming pool accident, the 6’3″, 260-pound offensive lineman had been named Athlete of the Year and was planning to play football next year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
After the swimming pool accident, Javier was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center, undergoing emergency surgery. Diane Blardony, who is Javier’s aunt, said on Thursday that he would be heavily sedated for the next 48 hours. She confirmed that he will “for sure” never walk again, but added that he may eventually regain the use of his hands. Javier, the son of a Hayward police officer, will stay in intensive care for two more weeks, with the permanent effects of the swimming pool accident yet to be determined. At his high school graduation the next day, a friend accepted his diploma in his absence.
After Javier’s swimming pool accident, a GoFundMe page for his medical costs raised over $27,700 in just a few hours. As contributions continue to pour in, the Javier family’s goal of $150,000 was passed in just five days. The donations show no signs of stopping, with the outpouring of sympathy following the tragic swimming pool accident bringing in over $170,000 so far. The family has expressed its gratitude, saying that it has been “deeply touched by the love and support during this difficult time.”
Members of the community have shown support in other ways as well. Javier’s high school hosted a vigil Thursday on the football field, and Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh said “Jake is a great young man,” adding that “our thoughts and prayers are with him as we hope for his best possible recovery.” In addition, other members of the San Ramon Valley High football team have been staying late in the hospital, and several officers from the Hayward police department were said to be at the hospital Thursday night.