Hurt linebacker's mom speaks about son's recovery at Shepherd Center

The mother of an injured Tennessee State University linebacker is speaking out for the first time since her son was transferred to Atlanta's Shepherd Center after suffering a brain injury during a game last month. 

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He's still fighting," Staci Abercrombie said at a news conference Friday morning. "We still have our faith and believe in God that he’ll continue to heal

On September 29, 20-year-old Christion Abercrombie collapsed on the sideline late in the first half against Vanderbilt. Tigers coach Rod Reed said he wasn't exactly sure how or when the Atlanta native was hurt before coming to the sideline late in the second quarter of a 31-27 loss to Vanderbilt.

"He came to the sideline and just kind of collapsed there," Reed previously said.


Abercrombie was given oxygen on the sideline, then taken away on a stretcher before undergoing emergency surgery for a head injury. 

The former Westlake High School standout was listed in critical condition on a ventilator but started to breathe on his own last weekend. Doctors then upgraded his status to stable.

RELATED: Injured linebacker breathing on his own, upgraded to stable

On Wednesday, he was transferred to Shepherd from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for brain injury treatment and rehabilitation.

Abercrombie is currently undergoing evaluation and observation. Eventually, he will move to the hospital's Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program for therapy.  

Staci Abercrombie was joined Friday morning by her son's lead physician at Shepherd Center, Dr. Anna Elmers.

Dr. Elmers said Abercrombie's responses are very inconsistent right now, but there's grateful he's doing so well just 20 days after the injury happened. 

"He's squeezing the hands of his parents on command, which is a big, big deal," Elmers said. 

Dr. Elmers also said he's following occasional command, such as giving a thumbs up. 

RELATED: Injured linebacker transported to Atlanta for rehab

A GoFundMe has been created for anyone who wants to support Abercrombie's medical expenses. You can donate here.