Cubs Fan Recovering From School Beating Gets Support From First Baseman

Henry Sembdner, 12, was put in a coma after he was allegedly assaulted by a classmate, his family said.
Henry Sembdner, 12, is recovering after an assault at his middle school last week.
Henry Sembdner, 12, is recovering after an assault at his middle school last week.

A Chicago Cubs player has joined in sending get-well wishes for a 12-year-old boy who was put in a coma after being beaten at school last week.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo reached out to Henry Sembdner on Twitter Monday, three days after the young Cubs fan was assaulted at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin, Illinois, according to local reports.

Henry is now out of the coma and recovering in hospital. In Rizzo’s message, he offered the seventh grader tickets to Chicago’s Wrigley field as well as passes to attend one of their batting practices once he’s healed. He included the hashtag “StayStrong.”

Henry accidentally bumped into a student, sparking a physical altercation that put him in intensive care with a serious brain injury, according to a GoFundMe page set up by the boy’s family.

The other student, who has not been identified because he is a minor, was taken into police custody, according to reports.

The incident lasted “a matter of seconds,” Kenyon Woods Principal Lisa Olsem said in a statement obtained by the Daily Herald

“Initial reports indicated this incident was not related to bullying but please be assured that we are working with our entire KWMS team, our School Resource Officer, local police and the [Elgin Area School District U-46] administration to fully investigate this incident,” she said.

In an update Monday to a public CaringBridge page, Henry’s mother, Karen DeWilde Sembdner, shared that her son had been moved to a regular pediatric room and was steadily improving.

“He is still resting but we are having conversations and he’s eating. He’s asking to read all the cards that he has received and is very thankful for them!” the post reads.

On Tuesday, DeWilde Sembdner posted to Facebook a photo of her son in the hospital.

She’s previously defended sharing photos of Henry, whose comatose body is her Facebook profile picture, saying she wanted to show people that what happened to her son “could happen anywhere.”

Rizzo has meanwhile been retweeting photos of Henry’s classmates wearing Cubs jerseys in the boy’s honor this week. This sentiment followed a candlelight vigil for Henry on Saturday.