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Quincy soccer player Bai Salam Kanu moves to rehab center

Quincy High soccer player Bai Salam Kanu, who suffered serious head injuries in an Oct. 2 accident, has been moved from a Boston hospital to a Braintree rehabilitation center.

The 19-year-old senior was riding his bicycle in the mall of Quincy City Hall at around 10 p.m. when he fell off his bike into the roadway, and was struck by a car. He was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was in critical condition for several days.

Kanu’s life and struggles were featured in a Boston Globe article in September. He and his family moved to South Central Los Angeles in 2009, fleeing civil war in Sierra Leone, and he moved to Quincy in August 2011 with his aunt and uncle.

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In late June, Kanu’s best friend, Lamar Thompson, drowned after jumping off a Quincy pier. Two months later, Kanu was asked to move out of his aunt and uncle’s house after his uncle lost his job. He then moved in with James Abundis, a Boston Globe infographic artist and president of America Football Club United, a nonprofit youth soccer organization based in Quincy.

According to Abundis, Kanu has made large strides since the accident, and can move all of his limbs and breathe on his own. He cannot yet walk or speak.

“Am I optimistic?” Abundis said in an e-mail. “Yes and no. Yes, I feel better about these incremental steps that Bai has taken. It gives me hope that he might make a full recovery. However, with traumatic head injuries, you never know what the outcome might be.”

Plans have been made for Kanu’s mother to visit him this month.

“We look forward to the day when some of his peers and friends can visit him and provide him some moral support to give him the psychological push he may need to get through tough times, but we do not know when that day will come,” Abundis said.

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