Update on Matt Gfeller of WS Reynolds

Posted by Andy Durham on August 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm under High School | 10 Comments to Read

I made a call at about 7:30pm and Matt Gfeller was still hanging in there. They made a change on the life support decision and decided to keep him on Life Support until all of the outside family could be called in.

At 7:30 Matt was not doing well but he was still with us and please continue to keep Matt Gfeller and his family in your prayers.

Tom Keller has comments from Page HS Athletic Director Rusty Lee and Pirate head football coach Kevin Gillespie at www.news-record.com.

Be sure to watch your local news for further updates. Dave Goren of WXII TV 12 Sports should have more info on his 11pm sports built around the Olympic coverage from NBC.

The young man Matt Gfeller of Winston-Salem Reynolds who was injured in last night’s game with Page at RJ Reynolds was taken off of life support this morning at 10am. Matt has taken a turn for the worse and things do not look good but everyone is still hoping for a miracle.

Gfeller developed a brain bleed at around 8am and went into a comma. Gfeller is a linebacker for the Reynolds Demons and took a block in last night’s game and went to the ground and had trouble getting up.

The Page trainer rushed on to the field to offer assistance and then the emergency medical help came in and took over from there. Gfeller was transported by ambulance to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Again the news is not good right now for Matt Gfeller, so if you can, please say a prayer for him and his family and at least keep them in your thoughts throughout the afternoon.

News from earlier today on the Matt Gfeller situation from the Winston-Salem Journal and their on-line news source journalnow.com:
Principal Art Paschal of Reynolds said that Gfeller was taken into surgery early this morning.

“I got a call from a friend around 3:30 and was told that things had taken a turn for the worst,” Paschal said. “So I headed back into the hospital along with (football coach) Mike (Propst) and we stayed until about 5:30.

“It’s been a long night and an absolute nightmare.”

Gfeller, a former student at Summit School who would have attended his first day of classes as a sophomore at Reynolds on Monday, was blocked by a Page player on a running play with 9:50 left in Friday’s game. After a delay of nearly 40 minutes, he was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

“From what I understand, when I left him this morning it was a serious brain injury,” Paschal said. “I have not talked to the family since he has gone on life support, but it was a very serious brain injury, and it just doesn’t look real good.

“When I left him last night, he was still breathing on his own. I have heard that he had gotten even worse than that.”

Paschal said that Bob and Lisa Gfeller, Matt’s parents, are presidents of Reynolds’ athletics booster club and were the PTSA presidents two years ago. Paschal said that Matt Gfeller did his Eagle Scout project at Reynolds, creating an outdoor eating area outside of the cafeteria. The Gfellers also have a son, Robert, who graduated from Reynolds in June and a daughter, Haley, who is a junior.

“I got to know Matt a little bit through his project, and I have been impressed with his perseverance on his project,” Paschal said. “Bob and Lisa are good friends and words cannot describe what kind of tragedy this is.

“The show of support for the family, the show of love for the family was very touching. But the fact that you are there on pins and needles for a 15-year-old kid, it tears at you, literally tears at you.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, one-in-a-million hit for this to happen to a healthy kid. He was healthy and well-padded. He was still breathing on the field, but basically they said the damage was done, right then and there. I have never heard of anything like it.”


  • PagePirates44 said,

    I heard on NCPreps.com, that Matt passed away, earlier today. 🙁

  • Andy said,

    I made a call and at 7:30pm Matt was still alive and they had made the decision earlier to keep him on Life Support until all of outside family members could be called in.

    Again at 7:30 he was still hanging in there and I should receive a call if anything changes and I will have it on the site.

    Prayers and thoughts continue to go out to Matt and the Gfeller family.

    Dave Goren should have an update on the WXII TV 12 News sometime around 11pm when they make their move and jump in on the Olympics for the News.

  • ryan perdue said,

    Praying bigtime for his family.
    I can’t even begin to imagine this.
    Such a freaky outcome.
    I’m also praying for the kid that made the block, no matter how much you’d try not to think about it and even if the block was clean, memories like that don’t go away.

  • Don said,

    The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting Sunday morning that he is still being kept on life support in order to make the best use of organs for donations. Given his Boy Scout background, I’m am sure that this final effort of unselfish sacrifice will provide him a lasting legacy with those whose lives are extended through the donations.

  • SAHS Patriots Player said,

    Even though I didn’t know Matt my prayers are going out to him,his family, and the guy that tackled him. I decided to become an organ donor after losing another 14 year old friend this past year to a rare accident which was also dealing with the brain. Please continue to keep not only this family in your prayers, but also the guy that tackled him.

    SAHS Patriots Football Player

  • Caroline said,

    matt has been one of my dear friends for two years, we went to the same school and have always been tight, but at the end of last year, my 8th grade year, we got extremely close. i haven’t talked to him all summer, i guess it’s a little too late.
    Matt was a great kid, and he deserves all the prayers he can get. i’ve always thought he would grow up and be a professional football player, during the Summit football season he would get really into it, although the team was never that good. he’s been so excited about starting the year at RJR, and playing varsity as a sophmore was a big dream of his. he had a great life ahead of him and for it to end like this is shocking to everyone.
    just please keep the family, and Matt in your strongest prayers. R.I.P # 57 <3

  • PagePirates44 said,

    SAHS, Matt played defense, so he didn’t get tackled. I heard it was a routine block from a offensive player on the Page squad. It was a running play.

  • Hayley said,

    Matt went to my school last year and he was just the nicest and funniest guys I ever met and ever will meet. At our school we have 9th Grade Speeches and Matt’s was ironically on football injuries. I think it was fate that let him at least star in our Musical Bye Bye Birdie, he was Conrad Birdie and he did such a good job. I can still see him singing “You Gotta Be Sincere”. I cannot believe that anything like this to happen to someone who gave so much. But, I bet he is in heaven right now playing football, the sport he loves.

  • Hayley said,

    Bye Bye Matthew we’re gonna miss you so. Bye Bye Matthew why’d ya have to go. No more sunshine, its followed you away. For your family I will always pray. I’ll miss the way you smile, as though its just for me and every single night I’ll pray faithfully. Bye Bye Matthew, its awful hard to bear. Bye Bye Matthew, yes I’ll always ca-a-a-a-a-are. Yes I’ll always care.

  • Jacob mercado said,

    This is said to see this happen but this is why they tell u keep your head up