Citrus Co. teen soccer star airlifted from field

Posted at 11:08 AM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 00:52:38-05

A star soccer player in Citrus County suffered a neck injury on the field Wednesday night and had to be airlifted to a hospital.

Mauro Mondragon, 17, fell and landed on his head during a district semi-final match in Crystal River. Mondragon plays for the Citrus Hurricanes.

"He was holding his neck and he was screaming out, "I'm done. I'm done," said 

Rudy Salazar, a senior soccer player at Citrus High School.

"He was just in shock," said Steven Potter, another high school soccer player.

A helicopter landed on the field, and he was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital for treatment.

Mondragon said he was blacking in and out of consciousness, but he knew one thing for sure:

"It was just like a sharp pain and from my knees down, it just went numb." Mondragon said from his hospital room.

As his friends cried and prayed on the soccer field, the 17-year-old's mother, Diana Mondragon, knew something was not right.

 "His legs," Diana Mondragon said. "He couldn't feel his legs. That was like, oh my goodness."

Mondragon is not just an average soccer player. He has already traveled overseas to play and plans play professional soccer after high school, his teammates said.

"Soccer is his passion, said Ainis Visokinskas, a fellow teammate. "It's his life and he is a great player and a good friend."

The next 24 hours were critical for Mondragon. Then, alongside his friends, he got a tingling feeling in his feet.

"That feels great to know I have good friends supporting me," Mondragon said.

"Seeing him today, seeing that he can move and actually do everything that a normal person can do, that feels good," said Chester Dellich, another teammate.

"Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers just wanted to update everyone on Mauro," Diana Mondragon, Mauro's mother, posted to Facebook Wednesday night. "He had X-ray done and came back all clear, his neck is still very sore and his legs are still numb but hoping that later when they re-evaluate him in the morning to have more sensation in his legs. If he continues with numb legs they will than do and MRI in the morning. For now is medicated so he can sleep comfortable."

Diana Mondragon said she expects her son to make a full recovery.

ABC Action News contacted Citrus County School District for comment but did not immediately hear back.