By Juli McDonald

MARLBORO (CBS) – A powerful show of community in Marlboro Friday night; the high school and town came together to support one of their own.

Connor Walker suffered a spinal cord injury while playing football for Saint Anselm’s three weeks ago.

“This is definitely the toughest thing I’ll ever have to face. And the scariest,” he said.

The 19-year-old had no idea St. A’s away game against Southern Connecticut would change his life. He remembers blacking out during a tackle in the third quarter, and then hearing his trainer’s voice.

“I finally came to and he was saying can you flip over for me. Face me. That’s when I tried to flip over. I came to the realization I couldn’t feel my legs,” said Walker.

He spent a week at Yale New Haven Hospital, and is now early into his recovery at Spaulding Rehab in Charlestown. His room is covered in messages of encouragement, and back home in Marlboro, his community promises he won’t do this alone. A fundraiser at the high school football game will support the Walkers during Connor’s care and in his transition home.

Connor Walker (WBZ-TV)

“There was a GoFundMe page set up within hours. I think they had a goal of $5,000 and reached $20,000 within a day. It’s unbelievable. The parents of players are doing the 50/50 raffle with all money going to the family,” said Marlboro athletic director Jeff Rudzinski.

It’s that support from his family, friends, town, campus, and strangers that now fuels him.

“It gives me the strength every day to wake up and say I’m going to walk again. Can’t thank everyone enough for that,” he said.

If you’d like to donate to Connor Walker in his recovery, CLICK HERE.

Juli McDonald