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An inside look at Dominic Chavez’s recovery

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Goddard’s Dominic Chavez holds on to a signed football from his favorite football player on the Jacksonville Jaguars Josh Allen. (Robert Chavez Photo)

Goddard football player Dominic Chavez continues to inspire those he comes into contact with. He recently attended a Denver Broncos football game and had a chance to meet his favorite player in Josh Allen.

Here is a first-hand account told to RDR sports editor, J.T. Keith, by Dominic Chavez’s father, Robert.

On July 3, 2019, at 5:30 p.m., life changed. We (my wife Julie and myself) answered a phone call that sent our lives into fast forward and slow motion all at once.

Dom’s injury changed life forever. An emphasis “changed” not stopped, slowed down and with no alteration to his driven future. For a time we wanted nothing to do with football or the outside world. A simple goal of making it through was to see that Dom never lose his personality, sense of humor, and with his matter of fact attitude, told us one day, “If I could, I’d get on the field tomorrow to play football.”

During the initial stages of his injury and on into rehab, he has been supported by his siblings, extended family, coaches, teammates, the coaches and football teams at Michigan State, New Mexico State, New Mexico Military Institute, Josh Allen and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Seeing his smile when he got to have that Facetime call with Josh was a blessing for us. Dom has continued to support his teams and watch all the games that he can. He loves the sport of football. It is thanks to that sport that he continues to persevere, the lessons he’s learned, the determination it takes, and the strength it takes to get back up.

At Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, they work hard to show the patients they’re still living life; they offer outings to allow patients to get out and do fun things among the therapies. We got the Therapeutic Recreation Schedule last month and saw an outing for the Broncos vs Jacksonville Jaguars football game, and immediately signed Dom up to see if he could go.

On Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, 89 days post-injury, Dom got to see his first NFL game in person! It was also the first game for Gabe, Sam and Maddox, as well as Dom’s best friend, Joseph, was able to go with us as well.

We were blessed to be able to share this as a family, it was a definite bright spot for all of us. Especially since the Jags pulled out the win. A great memory to get us through the next couple of weeks until we can all be together again. Dom also received an incredible care package that included a game ball from his favorite Jacksonville Jaguar Josh Allen.

Shortly after the injury occurred on July 3, Dominic’s family provided RDR Sports with a statement. It read, in part: “Our son, Dominic Chavez accidentally injured his neck at football practice. Dom broke C5 and there was a displacement of the C5/C6 vertebrae with spinal cord involvement. He has no feeling from his chest to his lower body and was unable to move his legs.

“… We were flown to UNC El Paso, Texas, where they rushed him into emergency surgery to fix the vertebrae and relieve the compression on his spinal cord. The doctors said it went well.”

“Thank you for the cards, letters, support and care packages. We appreciate you, Roswell and Chaves County. We continue to be grateful for all of the amazing support from the Roswell community.”