Former football star has new message to share after brain injury

Posted at 8:11 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 14:36:40-04

OLATHE, Kan. — A former Olathe East football player has a story to share after a 2014 traumatic brain injury that changed his life forever.

James McGinnis can't remember the Sept. 12, 2014 football game that changed his life. His parents created a memory book to help him remember and give him a play by play of the events that lead up to his new mission of sharing love.

"When he was lying on field, lifeless with his eyes fully dilated, I knew my life had changed forever," said Susan McGinnis, James' mother.

James has no memory of the hit on the field or his time in the ICU.

"I just remember waking up and seeing God or Jesus. He sent me on a mission to share the love. And to teach everyone just to love one another," said McGinnis.

Susan McGinnis said her son has undergone years of physical and speech therapy to defy the odds. At one point doctors told her that her son would never walk again.

"Just to watch him with people and how he touches people it's just crazy.I definitely think he's here for a reason. It's just to share the love," said Susan McGinnis.

A love the 21-year-old college student still has for the game of football. He believes players should be advocates for their own health and safety, but his injury has not changed the way he feels about the game.

"Sadly, I still love it," said McGinnis.

McGinnis continues to work towards better mobility. He and his father hope to write a book and continue to share James' miraculous recovery.