AJ Quetta, a Bishop Feehan senior who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a boys’ hockey game last month, will be transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta on Monday, according to a message posted on Twitter by school president Tim Sullivan.
Quetta was injured when he went headfirst into the boards during the first period of a Jan. 26 game against Pope Francis at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield. After initially being hospitalized at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Quetta has been at Mass. General Hospital for the past two weeks.
“The care he has received at Massachusetts General Hospital has been world-class,” Sullivan wrote on Twitter. “The doctors, nurses and staff have been outstanding. It’s now time for the next step in his rehab process.”
Sullivan wrote that Quetta, a resident of North Providence, R.I., will spend at least the next three months at Shepherd, considered one of the top rehabilitation hospitals for spinal cord injuries in the country.
The hockey community has rallied around Quetta, led by fundraising efforts by the Boston Bruins Foundation that have included proceeds from 50/50 raffles and auctions of sticks from Bruins and other NHL players. The Greg Hill Foundation also has conducted fundraisers, and the Feehan community has created AJ’s Army to raise funds for the Quetta family through donations and merchandise sales. Other planned fundraisers include a golf tournament.
Hockey teams at all levels across Massachusetts have given support to Quetta and his family through social media using the #AJsArmy hashtag.
Sullivan’s message on Twitter also included words of thanks from Quetta’s father, Anthony Quetta Sr.
“We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers for our son,” he said. “Words can’t express our steadfast appreciation to all the donors during this time. This would not be possible without all the support we have received.
“AJ realizes how awesome and incredible the support has been. He is determined to beat the odds and return to his family and friends. He is very motivated.”
Jim Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.