School friends, coaches, teammates and members of the Mountain Area community greeted PJ Kuzmitski with open arms and open hearts Friday at a pre-game fundraising Tailgate Party, and at Badger Stadium, where the Badgers are hosting Amador High.
On Sept. 27, Kuzmitski, a freshman at Yosemite High and member of the Badger JV football team, suffered a catastrophic injury during practice, which resulted in the Oct. 3 amputation of his right leg below the knee.
After undergoing amputation, 10 subsequent hyperbaric treatments, and daily medical treatments, PJ was transferred from Fresno Regional Medical Center to Valley Children’s Hospital on Oct. 6 to begin his rehabilitation program. Kuzmitski was released from Valley Children’s Hospital on Oct. 23, and is currently undergoing outpatient services on his road to recovery. To see related story, go to: www.sierrastar.com/news/local/article178550671.html
PJ and his father Jake stopped by the Mountain Muscle’s 2nd Annual Homecoming Tailgate Party held at The Landing to benefit the Kuzmitski family, before going to Badger Stadium for the Homecoming games. The night before he attended the team dinner.
“The past month has been a life-changer,” PJ said standing on the sidelines watching the JV team go through warmups before the game. “(Being out here) feels great ... like I’m finally getting back to normal, getting more into my life and getting healed from this injury. I would have never expected this to happen to me and I know I’m going to get through it.”
When asked about the support he is receiving from Yosemite High and the community, PJ said it means the world to him.
“I haven’t been in football all that long, but wrestling wise, with Jeff Guynn and all he’s done for me, it’s been amazing,” PJ said. “It’s great to be out here and to be social, and I think I’m going to attend the dance after (the games).”