A GoFundMe request went out on Friday for Med City FC goalie Gal Elyashiv.
It was put together by Med City FC owner Frank Spaeth, who’d watched on June 9 in Sioux Falls, S.D, as Elyashiv was barreled into by a Sioux Falls Thunder FC striker.
Elyashiv had done what goalies often do, diving to the ground to gobble up a ball. But as he did so, that hard-charging Sioux Falls player was roaring toward the same ball from the opposite direction.
The result was one of the most violent collisions imaginable on a soccer field, with Elyashiv getting by far the worst of it.
Besides a massive concussion, the native of Israel suffered fractures to his cheek and orbital bones and a severely split lip.
Today, Monday, June 21, Elyashiv had surgery at Mayo Clinic to repair all of those facial fractures. He’d had surgery on the lip at a Sioux Falls hospital the day after the collision. Mayo Clinic surgery costs are expected to be in the $40,000 range. Elyashiv is not insured in the United States and Med City FC does not cover its players with insurance, though the United States Amateur Soccer Association offers a minimal amount of coverage. That’s what prompted Spaeth to set up the GoFundMe request, as well as seek any other avenues to help cover Elyashiv’s medical costs.
As of today, the GoFundMe donations had reached $25,000. Surgery had not been more immediate as Elyashiv had to first get his medical costs plan in place.
The GoFundMe campaign went a long way toward taking care of that.
“We talk about being a family (in the Med City FC organization), and the best thing we could do for Elyashiv is to help him now financially,” Spaeth said. “The response so far has been incredible. I’ve also been in touch with the Sioux Falls owner and he’s been asking and inquiring about ways they can help. Fans, coaches and players from all around have been a part of our fund-raising process. So many have reached out.”
That the collision and the resultant injuries happened at all surprised Spaeth. But he’s also aware of how quickly things can happen on a soccer field.
“Soccer is a fast game,” Spaeth said. “One bad touch and that’s all it can take to change a player’s health and maybe their life.”
Prospects are good
Good thing for Elyashiv is that the collision should not have any permanent effect on his health or his appearance. Time will tell how it affects his psyche, but the 25-year-old Elyashiv’s intent is to rejoin his Anderson University (S.C.) team in the fall while spending the remainder of the summer recovering.
Spaeth believes that Elyashiv’s soccer drive has gone undeterred. But he knows that time will tell, and also notes that the intense physical pain that Elyashiv endured since the collision only started to settle down in the last few days. Finding the right pain medication for him was elusive.
“I think it’s hard to say at this point how he will react to playing again until he is back on the field,” Spaeth said. “But I don’t think this has deterred his love for the game or his determination to get better as a player. Like a lot of our players, he wants to reach the highest level he can. His ultimate goal is to become a professional (soccer player). That’s something he still wants.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Gal Elyashiv in the wake of the multiple injuries the Med City FC goalie suffered in a collision with a Sioux Falls Thunder FC player on June 9. The link to the GoFundMe donation is: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-gal-raise-funds-for-his-surgery