STAFFORD, Kan. (KSNW) — As loved ones and strangers pray for Riley Juel, one community is still in pain.
Phyllis Hagger, who works with Juel’s mother, recalled the moment when Michelle called and said that “she wouldn’t be into work, that she was on her way to Wichita because Riley had been shot, I just…I couldn’t believe it.”
Hagger said, in the small town of Stafford, “when one person hurts, the whole community hurts.”
They stick together.
“I understand Riley thought, ‘I can’t die,’ Hagger said. “We don’t want him to.”
Since Wednesday, the community has been saying prayers for one of their own.
“He’s a cool guy, he is,” said Andy Flores, a friend of Juel. “He’s always there for people when they need help.”
Juel is a star, on and off the football field, with fans rooting for a speedy recovery.
“That he can block this out and put it behind him and go on with life,” said Hagger.
“It’d be nice to have him back,” said Flores. “It’ll be good when he’s home.”
The community describes Juel as a fighter.
“He will be fine,” said Hagger.
It brings them hope.
“I’m just glad to know he’s okay,” Flores said. “And with that, I’m okay.
SJN Bank of Kansas, in St. John, has also set up an account for the public to donate — to help Riley and his family. It’s called “The Riley Juel Medical Fund.” Those interested in donating can donate in person at the bank, or by mail at: 116 E 3rd Ave, St John, KS 67576