NFL stars raise money for paralyzed Cordova native

By Jamel Major - bio | email

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - An entire community came together Friday to support a Cordova football player who was paralyzed last year in a car crash.

It's been a long road to recovery, but Fletcher Cleaves still has a lot to smile about.

"I'm real excited," he said Friday. "Everyone's showing lots of love. Makes me feel real warm inside."
Cleaves, a former Cordova High School football player, was paralyzed in a September traffic accident in Jackson, where he played football for Lambuth University.

The accident left Cleaves in a wheelchair, after he suffered a broken neck and was paralyzed from the chest down.

When Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive Back Michael Coe and New England Patriots Chris Taylor heard about Cleaves' accident, they decided to step in and help.  Friday night, the pair hosted a fundraiser, dinner and silent auction in Cleaves' honor.  

"Nobody plans for something like this to happen, especially at 18," Coe said. "We're hoping to raise money to make wheelchair accessible amenities for the house or himself."

Coe and Taylor, who are both from Memphis, say it's their way of giving back.

"With him being a former Cordova alumni and former Wolfpack, we wanted to do something - not just write a check, but really wanted to get involved and be hands on," Taylor said.

While he has endured months of physical therapy and rehab, Cleaves said he appreciates all the prayers and support he's received from family and friends.

"Everybody's been rooting for me trying to get the best for me, here and there," he said. "Michael and these guys are doing everything.  It's a great blessing."

All financial contributions can be made to:

The Fletcher Cleaves Fund
First Tennessee Bank
Memphis, TN

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