ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The family of Bishop Feehan hockey player AJ Quetta has shared an update on his recovery -- months after Quetta suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a game.
"Things are really starting to move in the right direction," Quetta's father Anthony Sr. wrote in an Instagram post. "[AJ] is deep into the process of weaning off the ventilator for good! He is currently off the ventilator for 14 hours a day and the plan is to get him to 18 hours by Wednesday and then off the vent over-night by next week. Once he is off the vent 18 hours over-night for 2-3 days, the next step will be to take him off completely. This is a huge step in his recovery and AJ is way ahead of expectations."
Quetta, 18, was injured in late January when he slammed into the boards head-first during a varsity game against Pope Francis in West Springfield. After surgery at Mass General Hospital, he has been working with trainers in physical therapy towards regaining his mobility.
The next phase of Quetta's recovery will take place at the Miami Project -- a research center where he will get "experimental treatments and trials to regain function in his spinal cord" from May to July.
From there, Quetta will work with Journey Forward in Canton, a non-profit organization dedicated to people who have suffered similar injuries. Quetta's father said he will train for three hours a day, five days a week at the facility towards his recovery.
As of Wednesday, a GoFundMe page for Quetta's recovery has raised over $1 million.
"AJ’s journey will be long and tenuous and your generosity and support will allow AJ to reach his goals and the dream of skating again," Anthony Quetta Sr. wrote. "AJ and the Quetta family are humbled by the support of our family, our community and our hockey family...We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we know we cannot do it alone. There will be more updates to follow soon."
(Photo: Bishop Feehan High School )