Jonathan Hefney starts GoFundMe to cover medical costs of football injury

Former Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Jonathan Hefney has started a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of treating injuries he suffered while playing in the CFL.

According to this excellent story from the Ottawa Citizen’s Gold Holder, Hefney is still dealing with the after effects of an injury he suffered in a game on Oct. 15, 2015 at TD Place in Ottawa. Hefney was hurt after colliding with Ottawa fullback Patrick Lavoie. He was stretchered off the field and never played again.

From the story:

Hefney had one surgery in 2016 to repair some of the damage resulting from his helmet-to-helmet collision with Lavoie, including three fractured vertebrae and nerve damage. The objective, Hefney said, was to enable the right-handed man to build enough strength in the biceps muscle in that arm to feed himself.

That surgery, which cost $88,000, was covered by insurance and the Alouettes but the team’s obligation expired 12 months after the injury. American players in Canada aren’t eligible for provincial health benefits and do not receive workplace injury coverage.

In other words, Hefney is on his own for any remaining medical costs. He is currently undergoing physical therapy and is facing another potential surgery to regain use of his right arm and hand.

Holder makes a salient point to end his story:

Either way, there won’t be any additional medical-benefits coverage from the Alouettes, who have met their obligations in full. If Hefney had been an equipment manager or athletic therapist or held any number of other “normal” jobs, he would have been eligible for provincial worker-compensation benefits.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Hefney had raised just under $5,000 of his $80,000 goal.