Family of Moline football player credits concussion for discovering heart condition in time

MOLINE, Illinois --  A 16-year-old Moline High School student and football player is recovering at home after getting a heart transplant.

Dakovion Kennedy suffered a concussion during football practice, which led to doctors finding that he had a rare condition.  His family said if it hadn't been for that concussion, they may never have known that Dakovion had myocarditis, an inflammation of his heart muscles.

His mom, Christina Thomas, said she was petrified and scared.

In an exclusive interview with News 8, Dakovion said he doesn't remember much about that day, except getting into the ambulance.

He was taken to a Peoria hospital and then he was told he needed a heart transplant in Chicago.   For three days Dakovion was unconscious and No. 1 in the nation on the donor list.  Then he got his heart.

During his medical journey, the school helped raise more than $12,000 for Dakovion's family. 

"We so appreciate everything, that support, prayers, donation, and everything (that's) been done," said his aunt, Angelina Kennedy.

It could be a year before Dakovion gets back on the football field, but he said he's got determination behind him.

"I'll get back to what I was before," he said. "Probably better."

Related: Moline High School students trade in the maroon for red to support student in hospital

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