Bishop Feehan High School senior A.J. Quetta, who was seriously injured in a varsity hockey game last month, shared a message with his supporters on Saturday.
In the video shared on Twitter, Quetta thanked everyone for their support, saying it has given him a reason to keep fighting on the road to recovery.
"I would just like to thank you for your support. What's been going on lately is crazy. Um I don't have words to describe how awesome you people are, and how supportive you've been for me," he said. You've all given me a reason to keep pushing and keep fighting, um it's awesome...And again just thank you everybody. It means a whole lot."
Quetta specifically thanked his Attleboro teammates and said he misses them "like crazy."
"I would do anything to get back on the ice with you guys," he said as he wished them luck in their game Saturday night.
As Bishop Feehan took to the ice Saturday night against their rival, North Attleboro, Quetta was on everyone's mind.
From the AJ's Army banner, to the picture of Quetta behind the bench. From the line of No. 10 jerseys hanging on the wall, to the Quetta t-shirts in the stands. From both teams warming up in jerseys that had 'Quetta' on the back, to the "AJ" and "10" decals on the Bishop Feehan players' helmets -- there were visible signs of support for Quetta everywhere you looked.
Head coach Kevin Dunn said of his players, "They all came to the understanding of what would A.J. do in the situation, and he'd say go play."
"And so the kids have really been playing for A.J. at this point," Dunn added.
"We had to win this for A.J., because he always put 110% into all these games," teammate Jacob Noel said after Bishop Feehan's 2-1 victory.
Quetta's dad, Anthony, says he is so grateful for everyone's encouragement, reiterating in Quetta's video message earlier in the day just how much the family appreciates all of the support.
"I just wanted to reach out to you and thank you for all the support that you've given us. The support means so much to A.J. and my family," Anthony Quetta said. "All the text messages, all the Facebook posts, it keeps us moving forward, it keeps our head in the game. I just wanted to thank you all for all that you've done. It's been awe inspiring."
Anthony Quetta said his son is "doing well" and "fighting hard."
"The support that you've given us is motivating him to fight harder every day," Anthony Quetta shared. "Just know that we are receiving your prayers and your support, and we love you all very much. Thank you."
Quetta underwent surgery for a spinal cord injury after he slammed head-first into the boards during a game against Pope Francis School in Springfield on Jan. 26. He spent weeks receiving care at Massachusetts General Hospital, before he was flown by medical helicopter to a rehabilitation center in Georgia last Tuesday, for the next phase in his recovery.
As Quetta left MGH for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, his hockey teammates sent him off with their own honor guard, holding their hockey sticks in the air while donning their green away jerseys in a symbolic gesture.
Quetta was to be admitted to the center's intensive care unit before moving to a spinal cord injury rehabilitation program where he will begin therapy under the guidance of a full team of medical and rehabilitation specialists.
The Quetta family has said on multiple occasions they are grateful for the excellent care the teen received while at Mass. General. It was MGH that referred Quetta and his family to the facility -- which is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 rehabilitation facilities in the nation.
It was last Monday that Quetta's family posted an update on his recovery process on the AJ's Army Twitter page, along with a photo of him in the hospital, where they thanked the "AMAZING" team at Massachusetts General Hospital, saying they could not have gotten to this point without all of the hospital's support.
"Thank you to the Angels of MGH PICU!," Quetta's family said.
More on A.J. Quetta's Road to Recovery
There has been an outpouring of support for the Massachusetts teen and his family since his injury, including from the Boston Bruins. The team shared on Twitter last week that the 50/50 raffle it is holding for Quetta had hit $300,000 -- the largest jackpot ever.
A charity game between the Boston Bruins Alumni and the Boston Junior Huskies, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed, and a new date will be announced soon.
The Greg Hill Foundation, which is also raising money for the family to help pay for medical expenses, has received over $156,000 in donations as of Saturday afternoon, including a $25,000 contribution from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Quetta's teammates have described him as "electric," "hard-working," and dependable, which can be seen in a compilation video posted on YouTube.