SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Dozens gathered outside the hospital room of a central Illinois football player Tuesday night.  

Jayden Veesenmeyer, a Pleasant Plains varsity running back, collapsed mid-football game over the weekend.   

To show their support, members of the community gathered in the parking lot at St. John’s Hospital across the street and lit candles and prayed for his healing. 

One of his teammates said seeing several communities come together for Veesenmeyer means everything.

“Pleasant Plains in my opinion is one of the best schools in the area,” Danny Carney, Pleasant Plains’ varsity kicker, said. “I’ve always felt supported in everything I’ve done and I know a lot of other people do. And to see not only Plains but all these surrounding schools and families supporting him it means everything.”

Greg Busboom, the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church led the crowd in prayer.

“We also need to know that we are surrounded and supported by God,” he said. “During the hard times, during the challenging times, during those times that it feels like God is the furthest away from us, that is when God has promised to be the closest to us.”

Busboom also prayed with Veesenmeyer’s mother before the vigil.