MISSION VIEJO (CBS) — A 13-year-old football player faces possible paralysis after suffering a spinal injury in a Pop Warner football game.

Donnovan Hill fractured his spine Sunday during the Midget Orange Bowl championship game. The star running back for the Lakewood Lancers dropped to the ground after hitting his head while trying to block a play.

Hill’s mother, Crystal Dixon, says Hill loves football, and was being recruited by two private schools to play for them. She says he is being strong for everyone.

Dixon says Hill told her, “be strong, I’m alright, this is part of football.”

Family, friends, and teammates say they’re praying the surgeons at Mission Hospital are able to repair the spinal fracture, and keep Hill’s dream alive.

If you’d like to help the Hill family, donations may be sent to the following address:

Orange Empire Conference
c/o Donnovan Hill
PO Box 7652
Huntington Beach, CA 92615

Comments (36)
  1. sad says:

    I wish the family + Donovan the best with this serious injury. Spinal injuries are so serious and life changing. I hope the doctors can get him to a full recovery. Best wishes.

  2. Darnisha Ferguson says:

    Come on hill you can do this, you can pull through. Your like family to us I love you I havent had a chance to meet you but my mom and brother always speak highly of you and your family. God has you covered you are in our prayers love the Jackson family Lakewood Lancer player #1

  3. YL Jags Parent says:

    Donovan – battle this injury like you battled on that football field and I promise you will come out victorious! You’re a very tough football player and a good kid – you have your family, your team, and most of all your Lord and Savior on your side! God bless you on your journey!

  4. Just someone says:

    I hope this young man can walk again….he is in the prime of his life.

  5. Steve Raigosa / Mission Viejo Cowboys says:

    I personally have not met you, but watched you compete and play Saturday night – You’re a Special Football player, may God be with you at this time – We will continue to Pray and Hope for the best, God willing hopefully someday you will return to the Football Field and continue your Dream. Stay Strong, Always Believe, You have the Football World behind you – Good Luck Donovan, hope to see #4 back soon…………

  6. Chris says:

    God Bless Donovan and his family my thoughts and prayers are with you. Spinal injuries are serious to overcome but you are strong and God is by your side. Wish you luck and a fast recovery.

  7. Frank says:

    Sorry to hear he ended up paralyzed but he still has his whole life ahead of him.

  8. Pacheco Family says:

    Our prayers go out to DONOVAN HILL & his Family…our son plays for LKWD POP MMW…..we are 1 BIG FAMILY here @ LKWD…….GOD IS WITH YOU DONOVAN!!! WE will con’t to PRAY for a Speedy Recovery…..from the Pacheco Family

  9. Ruth Fernandez says:

    Donovan, you WILL walk again!! Our God is faithful!!

    Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and healing shall spring up quickly.
    Isaiah 58:8

    We’re praying for you,
    The Fernandes Family.

  10. Paul says:

    Donovan–you are Awesome!!,,and God knows that–you will walk and play again,,just pray…God bless you and your family…will share my blessings and prayers…

  11. Compassionate says:

    The insurance will pay for the medical attention the child will receive but they do not provide funds for the family when they have to take off work and travel back and forth from Lakewood to Mission Viejo. If they are staying there they will need funds to pay for hotel expense and food. Most families do not have funds set aside for accidents of this nature. If a community is informed of a need they can come together and lend their support and take some of the stress and pressure off the family. Hope this answers your question.

  12. CarmenIneriano says:

    our thoughts and prayers.. are with the HIll family.. Donovan will walk again.. Both my boys. play for LAKEWOOD POPWARNER.. and this hits home.. we are a family.. at Lakewood.. we will be there tonight.. stay strong Donovan.. from the Silva Family..

  13. Monica Vieyra-Sandgren says:

    Surgery went great yesterday!! Doctors found that the spine wasn’t cut as first indicated and they were able to replace his 4th vertebrae.

    The good news is that with some more hope and prayers his spine can eventually grow and he will be able to get some feelings to his legs. His mom Crystal say he is awake and doing well.

    However, he is not out of the woods yet so he still needs all of our hopes and prayers. Thank you all for your continued support.

    Great day to be a Lancer!

  14. PACHECO FAMILY says:


  15. Emmsley Family says:

    I dont know Donovan Hill #4 personally however, my son is also 13 yrs old and plays football for Lakewood Pop Warner. I want Donovan Hill #4 and his family to know we are part of a great community and a very tight football family, with all of our support & prayers he will have a speedy recovery.

  16. Lakewood High School Football says:

    Donovan Hill and Family. Lakewood High School Football Boosters, parents, players, coaches have you in our prayers. God speed on a full recovery. It is a great day to be a Lancer!!!!!!!

  17. brady says:

    Donovan – may you have great strength, full recovery and continued faith in the Lord. HE will provide for all your needs.
    We are pulling for you! Brady, 13, #41 Vikings AZ Pop Warner North

  18. Just Curious says:

    Hope the boy makes a full recovery…
    On a side note, I’d love to know which private schools were recruiting him since the practice is against the rules.

  19. Lawade says:

    Donnavon…hang in there little man! We are here for you. Stay strong and I wish you recover soon! Miss you! Cherish

  20. Aydee Velazquez says:

    i noe we didnt talk that much but i hope u get better soon ! u are great football player u will always be! hope up for you!!

  21. Tyanna says:

    Stay strong Donnovan i miss you so much and the times we use to talk in class. Hope you get better

  22. C-Y says:

    As a father and a fan of Pop Warner Football, it’s so so sad to hear about any Player (Kid) getting hurt, let alone a 13yr old with a promising future ahead of him. D. Hill, may our Heavenly Father continue his healing powers upon you. We will continue to pray for a full recovery and at least be able to walk again. Stay strong and continue fighting. We had a kid on our Midget Team last year (Austin Babb) that was involved in a head on collision with another player. He was a STAR Linebacker and a promising High School Football Player. He ended up having brain surgery and is now running around like it never happened. D. Hill, If he did it, I am almost certain you will too as well!!

    Fullerton Pop Warner!!

  23. Mayra says:

    Our deepest sympathy for what you and your family are going through. My son plays PeeWee division and it’s what every football parent fears. Get well soon and little guy.

    with solidarity,

    Garden Grove Bulldog #24 – Gutierrez



  25. brianna says:

    everyone sees how scary it is to be in this position so even though i dont really no you my heart is sending prayer and prayers to god <3 please get better and hope everything else goes smoothly . your a great player ! and you will walk again through that field again.

  26. Cory Walsh says:

    I have the utmost confidence in the physicians and surgeons at Mission Hospital. If anyone can ‘fix’ young Donnovan Hill, he’s at the right place. Stay strong, young man!

  27. destany medina says:

    donnovan hill staay strong nd i knoo u will cus thats how u always been ilove you from the bottom of my heart nd this word will stick to mee nd its a good thing your getting better nd i hope it stAys that way nd im pretty sure u no who this is illove u hill nd we hav memories iluuu

    1. destany medina says:

      i was cryin like hek wen i found this out but your all good now …….praying for it to stay that waay illoveu

  28. Emma says:

    It was always my fear my son being playing since 6 yrs now in cfl in canada artery in his leg collaspe he almost lost he leg july 8 2011 I know God is able for healing of this baby I am praying just went through a really bad moment with my son in Canada the doc told him his leg will be amputed but God said diferent Monday he call and said Mom I am waliking on my own God is so able for your son just like he are for mine he in rehab nowI am claiming your baby healing in the name of Jesus

  29. Pamela Woods, Donnovan's Big-Cousin says:

    I’m here with Donnovan tonight, Thursday, November 10, 2011! Our family thank God for keeping him! He’s a strong young man and no matter how painful this is for us, we all are holding on to Faith!

  30. Shirley Alfred Moore says:

    Our prayers are with the family.

  31. carmie maccarelli says:

    my hearts and prayers are with you at this time.
    Jordan Harris’s step- grandparents

  32. coach sal says:

    Thank you everyone for your continued prayers and support. He talked and ate for the first time. -Coach Sal

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