A mid-Missouri community is mourning the loss of a high school football player injured during a playoff game Halloween night.
Chad Stover passed away early Thursday morning. He had been in a coma at University Hospital with a severe head and brain injury for two weeks.
"He was wonderful. Never had a bad thing to say about anybody, and he was always willing to help anybody. And his family's the same way," Tipton resident Teresa Doyle said.
"[He was] always the first one there to help somebody out. If they needed it, he was always there to help people out," Tipton resident Bryson Gillpatrick said.
Tipton Superintendent Scott Jarvis said in a statement to KRCG 13 that "Tipton is a very close community and [they] are taking care of each other during this time of grief."He also said that they had grief counselors and clergy on hand when notifying students at school Thursday morning.
Jarvis said he had not spoken with the Stover family as of Thursday afternoon, and would have to discuss any form of memorial with them before planning.
A source close to the situation told KRCG 13 that Stover did not take a hard hit during the football game. He likely had an undiagnosed, preexisting medical condition that can be triggered by many things, including participation in contact sports.
Stover's mother posted this message on his Caring Bridge web page:
"As most of you know Chad is now whole again with the Lord. I held my sweet boy as he slipped away early this morning. There is a hole in my soul that will never be filled. Just when I think I am out of tears more come to my eyes. I miss him so much already. Although Chad is gone from sight he is not gone from mind and soul. Chad moved many of you to pray, to become closer to God, to hold your family a little tighter every day. Please in his memory--continue that closer relationship to God. Pray daily, kneel on the football to pray, rival towns come together as one and remember that in the end it's only a game. I have seen so many wonderful, heart warming things from all of you. We as a family are touched beyond belief. Pray for people when they hurt...they can really feel it. Hold your family close and never miss an opportunity to tell your child or loved one that you love them. Give them a hug or kiss even if they don't want it. That is one thing I have no regrets about. I told my Chad how much I loved him daily...I gave him hugs even when it cramped his style. I know he passed knowing how very much his family loved and cared for him. Pray daily, hug tightly and NEVER take one day for granted. On another note our nurses and hospital staff at Missouri University were just to wonderful for words. They laughed with us over stories of our boy, they cried with us when the end was near. I love them all and hope they know what wonderful people they are! I love you Chad Austin Stover~~forever and always!"
Friday afternoon, the Meisenheimer Funeral Home in Tipton told KRCG 13 a visitation and funeral will be held this weekend.
The visitation will be held at Tipton High School from 2-4p.m. with the funeral to follow.
The funeral home tells KRCG both are open to the public.
Rather than flowers, the Stover family is asking for donations to the Chad Stover Foundation at the Tipton-Latham Bank.