LUBBOCK, Texas — A Texas freshman and football player was critically injured during the second game of the year, after scoring the final touchdown on Aug. 31 at Monterey High School in Lubbock.
Zaidyn Ward, 14, scored his team's final touchdown, ending the game. He and his teammates huddled together in the endzone when he collapsed, said Judy Combs, the fundraiser organizer for the Combs' medical expenses.
According to Judy, Zaidyn's heart stopped after he suffered a seizure. Medical professionals on the sideline used CPR and had to use a defibrillator multiple times before his heart would beat, albeit weakly and erratically.
Judy said Zaidyn was rushed via ambulance to University Medical Center Hospital and admitted into the PICU. Several tests over the course of several days yielded less-than-favorable results, she shared.
Because of the two shocks he received from the defibrillator, his heart lost rhythm and was improperly pumping his blood, Judy said.
Judy shared that Zaidyn was taken via MEDEVAC to Cooks Hospital in Fort Worth, forcing his mother, Cassandra Combs, to use all possible funds to pack and travel from Lubbock to Fort Worth within the span of a few hours.
Cassandra is a business owner, working as a hairstylist. She has two additional sons, Cameron and Kyler. Judy said because of these circumstances, Cassandra and her family are in a financial predicament, as she cannot work while being by her son's side in Fort Worth.
Judy also shared that Zaidyn was admitted into surgery to have an ICD defibrillator implanted, but said the surgeons noticed the blood was not flowing to the left side of Zaidyn's heart.
This forced the surgeons to stop the procedure and to consider performing open heart surgery, a procedure rare for a child of Zaidyn's age.
As of Friday; however, due to additional unexpected medical issues, Zaidyn's surgery was postponed for four weeks.
With multiple devices to keep his heart and other organs performing, Zaidyn, with the aid of his two brothers, remains calm for his health, said Judy.
Judy referred to the surgery as a matter of "life or death." In the GoFundMe she asks for prayers and support for Cassandra's family, and expresses gratitude to those who've contributed and continue to do so, either financially or spiritually.