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Community rallies for Ocean City High School football player who suffered stroke

Tyler McDaniels carries the ball during a game for Ocean City High School.

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Tyler McDaniels has enjoyed playing sports all of his life, and he’s good at them. 

The former Ocean City High School student was a running back for the Red Raiders, and in his younger years played lacrosse and wrestled.

But the 18-year-old Upper Township resident who was in top physical shape suffered a rare condition for his age called a vertebral artery dissection. It led to multiple strokes and then a massive stroke on May 2.

Tyler’s speech and motor skills were severely affected, and he was left him unable to walk, write or communicate effectively, according to a family helping him through his health crisis.

He has a long road to recovery.

His girlfriend, Angelina McMenamin, a senior at Ocean City High School, and her parents, Tom and Helen McMenamin of Ocean City, want to make sure his medical bills are paid.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help with Tyler’s expenses. 

“He’s just a real good kid," Tom McMenamin told OCNJ Daily. "And he is such a good athlete. He plays every sport possible. He is in such great shape,” Tom McMenamin said in an interview Monday. “It is so unfortunate that this happened to him and it was such a rare condition to affect someone his age. We want to do everything we can to help him.”

   Paige DuBois, left, who is running the GoFundMe page with Tyler McDaniels, and Angelina, Anthony, Helen and Tom McMenamin in November.

  

The goal of the GoFundMe fundraiser was set at $5,000, which was surpassed within days of it being set up. 

As of Tuesday morning, it was at more than $6,000. People may still donate to help Tyler as he continues his recovery, McMenamin said.

“We are going to keep the GoFundMe page going,” McMenamin noted. “There has been great support out there from the community. Angelina is grateful. Tyler’s attitude has been great. He is very thankful for all the participation. It is definitely helping him during the start of his recovery.”

The cost for the specialized care Tyler needs could be substantial, McMenamin said.

He emphasized that the entire community has really rallied around Tyler.

Tyler lives with his grandmother. His mother passed away when he was just 5. During the two-plus years he has dated Angelina, he has become an important member of the family, McMenamin said.

Angelina and Tyler attended Angelina’s junior prom at Ocean City High School in 2023. A photo of them shows them dressed for the special night.

Just one year later, everything has changed. 

Angelina did not attend her senior prom on Saturday, because of Tyler’s medical condition, McMenamin said.

The family just hopes and prays Tyler makes a complete recovery. And they are doing all they can to help Tyler with his road to recovery.

“Tyler’s doctors are hopeful for his recovery, estimating an 80 to 90 percent chance of improvement with intensive rehabilitation. However, the road ahead is long and demanding,” the McMenamins wrote in the GoFundMe page, set up by their nanny, Page DuBois, a week ago.

Even though Tyler has insurance, he needs a lot of rehabilitation.

“We want Tyler to get the best care possible. It is a very unfortunate circumstance he is in. I don’t know what his insurance will cover,” McMenamin pointed out. “Tyler will come to our home when he gets out of rehabilitation. Fortunately, I think we are in a good position to give him whatever he needs. I didn’t want any burden to be put on him. We just want him to get better.”

    Angelina McMenamin and Tyler McDaniels before the junior prom in 2023. (Photos provided by the McMenamin family)
 
 


author

Maddy Vitale

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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