‘We’re always here for him.’ Lindenhurst teens continue to help former teammate now bound to wheelchair
Lindenhurst football players are rallying behind one of their teammates who is recovering from a serious illness.
Jared Barber became a living legend at Lindenhurst High School. At just 4 feet 8 inches tall, he played running back on the school’s football team.
“No one could stop him,” says current Lindenhurst football player, Jake Trovato. “You could be the biggest kid, he’ll still run you straight over.”
Barber has been fighting diabetes his whole life and in May 2020, he had a sudden medical episode and was hospitalized.
“He coded,” says Barber’s mother, Katie Coleman. “Cardiac Arrest. They put him on a ventilator, and he was in the hospital for about five months.”
Doctors are not sure exactly what happened to Barber, but he is now bound to a wheelchair and unable to eat on his own or speak.
His teammates didn’t forget about him, and during the height of Saturday’s blizzard, dozens of teenagers showed up to make sure the driveway was clear in case Barber had a medical emergency.
Coleman says the team does this every time it snows.
“I love these kids,” Coleman says. “I love them to death.”
The team also helped lead Barber on to the field in October during the high school’s senior celebration.
“We all love him and we’re always here for him no matter what,” says Lindenhurst football player James DeGregorio.
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Barber’s medical equipment.