Teammates, Gilmer community rally behind East Texas football player paralyzed in pool accident

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GILMER, Texas (KETK) — When Morgan Lusty dove into a swimming pool, and didn’t come back up, his former Gilmer and current ETBU teammates weren’t sure what happened.

“I was just shocked I didn’t even know that had really happened,” said Morgan’s Gilmer and ETBU teammate Qua Heath. “We thought it was just all a joke so I didn’t know. When we realized what happened it just broke my heart I didn’t know what to do.”

Morgan was taken to a Longview hospital and has gone through surgery to repair his spinal cord.

“When everybody told me what happened I was shocked, I didn’t know what to say, my mind went blank,” said Jamareon Granville.

As the family gets ready to move him to a Dallas hospital, friend of the family, and Gilmer football mom, Jennifer Dean, set up a Go Fund Me page to help with the expenses.

“There were a few of us, parents that were discussing what can we do, of course with it being East Texas and a small community it’s not hard for people to want to mobilize and help in any way they can,” said Dean. “That’s just who we are.”

Downtown, at HomeTown Graphics and More, they are taking preorders on a shirt, with all sales going to the family.

It’s a shirt, which was designed by Morgan’s teammate Rashaad Ward.

“The bond is still there, and that’s what the really means,” said Ward. “We can come together in any situation you know and make something good happen, out of a bad situation.”

This wasn’t the reunion they were looking for, with one of their brothers, battling in a hospital, but it does exemplify what they were preached for so many years out here on the Gilmer football field.

“We’re all coming together as brothers, as teammates, still we’re lifting Morgan up we’re trying to be positive and this is a really big step for our lives,” said former Gilmer and current ETBU quarterback Aaron ‘Poppy’ Brown.

“To see these guys, this is my family right here, we’re friends but we’re brothers at the end of the day,” said D.Q. Lawson. “Nothing is going to break us apart and we’re praying for Morgan and being there for him.”

Because in Gilmer, tradition, doesn’t merely stay on the football field.

“We’re all Buckeyes at heart, and so we’re all a family,” said Dean.

“Our family is so strong, nothing can break the Buckeyes apart, once you’re a Buckeye you stay a Buckeye, that’s all that matters,” said Lawson.

As of Tuesday night, Morgan was able to move his arms, had dome feeling in his legs, and was able to wiggle his big toe.

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