A 4-year-old boy was recovering Sunday from a deep cut to his head after Colorado State wide receiver George Hill collided with him during CSU's spring game.
Hill was catching a touchdown pass when his momentum carried him into Caden Thomas on the sidelines Saturday. Caden was among several kids playing on the sidelines as part of a kids' festival at Hughes Stadium, said Caden's father, Mike Thomas.
"You turn your head to look on one child and here goes the other child. It happens to every parent, and you don't have eyes on the side of your head," said Caden's mother, Holly Thomas. "It's the worst thing you could imagine as a parent, and there you are facing it."
The results of neurological exams were normal, so the family opted to take Caden to the hospital on their own after he was initially treated by CSU trainer Terry DeZeeuw and team doctor Sean Grey, Mike Thomas said.
The boy had surgery to stitch up the cut. Tests showed no skull fracture or other trauma, and he was released from the hospital Saturday night.
Caden got a signed CSU football and a call from coach Sonny Lubick on Sunday.
"We had a nice little talk and he had a nice little talk with Caden," Mike Thomas told the Fort Collins Coloradoan. "I imagine there were 3,000 to 4,000 people there who want to know how he is doing."
"It was kind of scary because I got bonked by the football (player)," Caden told 7NEWS.
"We feel very grateful, very grateful. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, though," Holly Thomas said. "This story has a happy ending and I acknowledge that. Not all stories have a happy ending."
Gary Ozzelo, with CSU, said it was unusual that the child was on the field. The school was hosting a spring football game so it was trying to make it fan friendly. The team does not allow small children on the field during regular season. CSU will consider its policies about spring games to make sure this incident doesn't happen again.
Holly said her son was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
She said she doesn't want the incident to interfere with CSU's family-friendly spring games, but said she may have felt different if her son had been seriously injured.
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