Fundraiser held for Hillsborough teen in coma after football injury

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thys Oldenburg is in a medically induced coma.


The 14-year-old went down after a hit during his junior varsity high school football game last week.

“There was a little bit of brain swelling, another night there was high blood pressure, another night there was an infection in his lung, but a lot of that has been stabilized,” said Al Whitted, Oldenburg’s uncle.

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One small victory is bringing his family hope.

“We got to see him last night and we got to feel a little squeeze of his hand so that was really reassuring,” said Megan Whitted, Oldenburg’s aunt.

RELATED: Hillsborough teen in critical condition after injury during JV football game

Right now prayers and community support are exactly what Oldenburg’s family says they need.


The community held a pasta fundraiser Saturday and many students created hats, prayer towels, and bracelets. All of the money raised is donated to Oldenburg’s medical expenses.

“It gives you hope for humanity when people think about other people like this,” Al Whitted said.

“My sister, Jan, has been by the bedside of Thys for eight straight days. She hasn’t left the hospital and what’s encouraging her and giving her strength is this type of support,” he added.

On Saturday Carillon Assisted Living in Hillsborough organized the pasta luncheon to support Thys. Friends, family, students, teammates, and strangers dropped by to lend a hand.

“Some of us know Thys’ family from school or out and about living in Hillsborough and we just wanted to give back,” said Laurie Sawyer, executive director of Carillon Assisted Living Hillsborough.

Oldenburg’s family says his doctors are hopeful that they’ll be able to reduce his medication soon and start to bring him out of the coma.

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