WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - The Worcester community took to the ice in support of a Milton Academy student who was severely injured during a collision at a hockey game.

People of all ages donated $10 to join the free skate at the Ice Center on Harding Street to help boost 18-year-old Jake Thibeault of Fitchburg.

“Tonight’s about Jake, about raising money for Jake and his family,” said event organizer Tina Gendron. “Help Jake recover and get him to where he needs to be.”

The teen was left paralyzed from the waist down after a horrific spinal injury during a game.

“He’s attacking rehab at full speed. He’s progressed really really well. They are very pleased with it,” Thibeault’s father Mike said.

He said their family is grateful for the overwhelming support and vowed that one day his son would walk again.

“Once again the hockey community is coming around big time. We are just so excited that this will bring people together and just have Jake part of the conversation, not just poor Jake and this and that,” he said. “I think it’s a testament to who he is, he’s an amazing kid.”

As he recovers, friends have set up a GoFundMe page for Jake that has raised more than $430,000.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox