Strangers across globe support high school athlete after falling sick on ballfield

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A local high school student suffered a medical emergency recently. And now strangers from the community and across the world have rallied behind her and her family.

Kassidy Sechler, a rising sophomore at South Rowan High School, was playing softball last weekend in the Hickory area with her travel team.

She started to feel sick in the dugout and was rushed to a hospital where she is fighting for her life from what doctors believe to be an ailment related to her heart. They are continuing to run tests to pinpoint what happened.

“When we started the page, it was just to give (her parents), Todd and Kathy, a break. The phone was ringing, texting. Everybody was just so concerned,” said family friend Melissa Gardner.

Gardner and family friend Leslie Eagle started a GoFundMe page to share updates on Sechler’s condition.

[Small plane flips upside down during landing in Rowan County field]

More than 9,000 people have joined the group in less than a week.

“The outreach,” Gardner said. “I get messages every day, and people that have never met Kassidy that want to hold prayer vigils and donate, and, hat can they do to help the family?’”

“We started a GoFundMe account for her on Monday midday,” Eagle said. “And it just, immediately, people started giving to her too, and there are so many names that Melissa and I have never heard of.”

Sechler’s coach shared some of the latest news on her ongoing recovery.


“Kass is having a good day,” coach Brad Wilkinson said at the ballfield. “They’ve actually dialed back her ventilator a little bit. They put some protein into her feeding tube, which is fantastic. She had a restful night.”

A family friend told Channel 9 that it is possible Sechler’s journey to recovery could be a long one.