James Hilaire of the Stamford Times reported that former Stamford High School soccer player James Hilaire, a senior goalkeeper at the University of New Haven, suffered a broken jaw and a serious head injury during a game at Merrimack College. Hilaire went out in front of the UNH goal, hoping to grab a loose ball before a charging Merrimack player got there. As both players made a move for the ball the opposing player’s knee slammed into Hilaire’s head. Hilaire, who suffered serious head trauma on the play, later underwent surgery to repair his broken jaw.
At least one report referred to these injuries as “life-threatening.” Hilaire was a patient at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Boston Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. He was eventually discharged to begin the next phase of his recovery – rehabilitation – on Oct. 16 at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, according to the Stamford Advocate. The Goalie was talking clearly, or at least the best he can communicate when he returned to the campus a week and a half later. He reportedly still has some physical deficiencies on his right side, from his shoulder on down to his leg. It is anticipated that this young athlete will get back to 100 percent. We are glad that he is making progress and hope that he makes a full recovery. As the father of a goal keeper, who has seen his own daughter taken from the field with a neck injury and also after getting kneed in the gut, I can empathize with the Hilaire’s family, friends and teammates.