AVON, Ohio — As the Avon Eagles take to the football field Friday night against Berea-Midpark the crowd will rock their red in support of a player on the sideline who survived a stroke.
The presence of Jake Burdick, 16, at the game is nothing short of a miracle according to his mother. In August the healthy football player was bowling with friends and his mother when he complained of sudden and strange symptoms.
“While he was bowling he was sitting at the table and said he could not see out of his left eye,” said Jake’s mother Lisa.
“I started to feel scared around the point where I couldn’t feel the left half of my body that’s when I knew something serious was happening,” Jake told FOX 8.
When doctors delivered the news about Jake’s stroke to his family his mother said she was stunned. They were initially told he may have suffered a complex migraine.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I felt like it was an out of body experience for me, but I broke down. It was terrible.”
Lisa is a nurse and said she understood how serious her son’s condition was. She said she worried if he would walk again or be able to attend school.
Jake says the diagnosis was the start of sleepless nights at the hospital.
“Every night I’d lay awake and that’s would just keep me up at night and I would read things online which is probably the worst thing I could have done,” said Jake.
For his second family on the gridiron and classroom it was a reminder about how precious life can be.
“Jake is the type of player that is constantly working to perfect his craft,” said assistant football coach Jared Cecchetti.
It’s one of any reasons why the Friday game will be a red out in his honor. Those in attendance are encouraged to wear red in support of stroke awareness.
In a social media post, the Cleveland chapter of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association said the organization will be featured at the game to raise awareness and money to support stroke funding.
Lisa says they discovered some complications with his heart that will require surgery soon but in the meantime they are grateful he is able to be on the sideline to witness a sea of red during the game.
“I think about what I’ve been through and how it could always be worse,” said Jake.