Injured HS hockey player speaks out for first time since West Springfield game

Injured HS hockey player speaks out for first time since West Springfield game

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — A.J. Quetta, the high school senior who suffered a spinal cord injury at a hockey game in West Springfield, spoke out for the first time.

He said he is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community during this difficult time. Saturday afternoon is the first time anyone has heard from A.J. since his hockey injury.

He said he’s thankful for all the support he’s received, especially his teammates, and wishes he could be on the ice Saturday night with his teammates.

“I miss them like crazy. I would do anything to get back on the ice with you guys,” Quetta said. “I know you’re playing North Attenborough tonight.”

(Western Mass News photo)

From his hospital bed in Atlanta, Quetta spoke out for the first time since his spinal cord injury, after a hockey game in West Springfield, when he crashed headfirst into the arena’s ice rink boards.

Quetta posted a video on Twitter, wishing his teammates luck in their hockey game while he continues to fight through his recovery.

“I don’t have words to describe how awesome you people are and how supportive you’ve been for me,” he said. “You all give me a reason to keep pushing and to keep fighting.”

A.J.’s father, Anthony Quetta, also weighed in on the support his son has received.

“All the text messages, all the Facebook posts, it keeps us moving forward. It keeps our head in the game,” he said. “I just wanted to thank you all for all that you’ve done. It’s been all inspiring.”

One person who has stepped in to help the Quetta family is Laura Sapelli.

She told Western Mass News she came up with the idea to make hats called A.J.’s army to support A.J. and his family.

She told Western Mass News she was emotional watching the video when coming across it online.

“The minute I saw it and I started watching it, I started bawling my eyes out,” she said. “It was amazing to see him in such good spirit.”

She wanted to pass along a heartwarming message for A.J.

“Stay strong. We’re all here for you. We will all support you, and we hope that you can get through this the best you can and come out as strong you can,” she added.

Sapelli also said that being part of the hockey family is all or nothing.

If anyone would like to purchase a hat and help A.J. in his recovery, click here. If you would like to support A.J. and his family, funds are still being collected on the GoFundMe created by his sister.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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