Referee Overcomes Life Threatening Injuries To Return to Football
TULSA, Oklahoma - Randy Jeffers has been part of football for over 50 years, 30 of those as an official, but this 67-year-old man has overcome life threating injuries to come back to the game he loves.
At age 67 Jeffers has shown no quit in refereeing. But last November it almost ended.
"I was paralyzed from the next down on the football field. I had one surgery and then 2 hours later I tanked. I couldn't swallow, I couldn't talk, I couldn't breathe,” said Jeffers.
"The night it happened we took a girls-and-mom trip to Boston .. I booked it back as fast as I could," said Randy’s wife Libby Jeffers.
Jeffers suffered a broken neck, after surgery, they discovered a blood hematoma in the back of his neck requiring another surgery
"They said he could have died very easily but it was a lot of what-ifs, but we chose not to live with the what-ifs," said Libby.
This isn't the 1st time Jeffers has been through a life-changing circumstance, in 2007 he had quadruple bypass surgery. In 2011 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer which receives treatment for.
"I was just determined that that was not going to be the last play of my career," said Jeffers.
Rehab followed with support from his daughters and grandkids.
"I'm a fighter, I'm not going to give up. I believe I'm supposed to be doing this," said Jeffers. "The thing that puts it over the hump is I believe I am called to do this. I believe my relationship with God, he is allowing me to have this injury and I'm supposed to fight through this with his help, I 'm going to do all this stuff."
After rehab, he was determined to return. So, Friday, his 1st game back he was put in charge of the Union-Jenks game, back on the football field he loves
"We believed this something that God wanted him to do. It's not so much about the football. From him lying on the field paralyzed, waiting on an ambulance, to doing a game tonight and that's a miracle,” said Libby. "I am so proud of him for staying with it."
"I've fought through my heart situation, never going to give up. I'm fighting through cancer, I'm not going to give up. Fighting through this neck thing, I'm not going to give up," said Jeffers.