By Jean DePlacido
Friends and family of injured St. John's Prep football player Jared Coppola have set up a fund to defray costs for his rehabilitation.
The junior cornerback from North Reading suffered a cervical fracture after making a tackle on a Lynn English wide receiver during a Sept. 4 scrimmage. He was taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital in Boston, where surgery was performed that night. Following the injury Coppola had feeling, but no movement.
Doctors repaired the fracture and stabilized the neck area, but Coppola's long-term prognosis is undetermined. He faces a long rehabilitation period.
Later this week he will be taken by Med-Flight to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, one of the top rehabilitation centers in the country. The cost of the Med-Flight is not covered by insurance.
Doctors have removed his breathing tube, and Coppola is able to talk.
Jared is a triplet and one of his triplet brothers, Tyler, scored a touchdown in the Prep's 32-7 season-opening win over Peabody Friday.
Tyler, who missed the preseason with mononucleosis, was wearing Jared's No. 34.
Jared's other triplet brother, Brandon, had his football career ended last season after a cervical fracture suffered in a JV game. Their older brother plays at UNH.
Anyone wishing to contribute can send a check to: The Jared Coppola Fund, c/o Reading Co-operative Bank, 170 Park St., North Reading, MA 01864.