FARMINGTON — Tarek Haines had just finished running laps at youth football practice at Kemp Field on Monday when he went down on one knee and couldn’t get up.

He then went to two knees and collapsed, his father said.

Now the 12-year-old is recovering at a Boston hospital from emergency heart surgery to remove a tumor.

He had had three strokes that affected his right side, his father, Jason Haines of New Vineyard said Friday from the hospital. Part of the tumor in Tarek’s heart broke off, went to his brain and caused the strokes, his father said.

Tarek, a seventh-grader at Mt. Blue Middle School, went to two hospitals before Boston Children’s Hospital operated Wednesday, Jason Haines said.

By Friday, the boy was up and walking around by himself.


“He doesn’t want anyone to help him, his father said. “He wants to do it by himself. It’s been a pretty fast week. We have a lot of hope because his recovery is coming along so fast.”

Tarek will go through rehabilitation in a pediatric unit at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He is expected to be released to Maine Med in a couple of days.

“This is not something that happened because of football,” Jason Haines said. He said doctors at the Boston hospital said it is a common affliction.

“Tarek will play football next year,” his father said. “He wants to play football. This is one thing that he loves.”

The bandage on Tarek’s chest was removed Friday.

“He is doing very well,” Jason Haines said. “I think a lot of his healing is due to the support he is getting. A lot of people have reached out to him on Facebook. The support he is getting is part of healing.”

Tarek is allowed to have a laptop in his hospital room.

A benefit fund has been set up to help the family with expenses and Tarek’s recovery needs. Donations are being accepted at Jim Martin Auto Sales on the Wilton Road in Farmington, where Jason Haines works, or can be sent directly to Bangor Savings Bank on Main Street in Farmington. Checks can be made out to “Tarek Haines Benefit Fund.”

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