The power of social media has brought the power of prayer and the support of many to the forefront.

On Friday night (Oct. 25, 2019), two senior high school football players from high schools about two hours apart suffered injuries that required medical flights to regional hospitals for further treatment.

In Northeast PA, North Schuylkill quarterback Jaden Leiby failed to get up following a defensive tackle during a Schuylkill League Division I game against Pottsville Area. Suffering a reported neck injury, he was taken by ambulance to Ashland Memorial Field and flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, where he underwent surgery Saturday morning.

In Southern Pennsylvania, Kennard-Dale football player Patrick Maloney suffered a head injury during a game against Eastern York. According to published reports, Patrick collapsed on the sidelines. Emergency personnel transported him to York Hospital for emergency surgery, then flew him to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. According to posts shared by Kennard Dale from Patrick’s mother on Monday (Oct. 28, 2019), the teen is responding and progressing in his recovery.

As word spread of both student athletes’ injuries, hashtags requesting prayers for them formed, with #Prayersfor6 created for Jaden and #Pray4Pat shared for Patrick. Posts have been shared thousands of times for both young men. Comments noting prayers, support and encouragement have come from far and wide. On Jaden’s end, fundraisers and collections have been organized for his family by the North Schuylkill School District. In Orwigsburg, the Blue Mountain High School cheerleaders are also collecting donations to send gift cards for the Leiby family.

Many see social media as a blessing and curse with its immersion in daily society. However, it’s when tragedies like this occur that the good in people emerges. Teammates and opponents, friends and strangers, alumni and booster clubs and students and parents have united in prayer and other means of support for these two student athletes — who are also both captains for their respective teams. Keep the prayers coming for Patrick and Jaden as they recover from their injuries and build their futures.