Rams Paying Medical Bills for Photographer Who Fractured Spine in Fall at Super Bowl Victory Parade

Friends of Kelly Smiley have also started a "Help Kelly Get Back on Her Feet" GoFundMe to help the sports photographer recover from her injury

Kelly Smiley Rams Photographer injured
Photo: GoFundMe

A photographer fractured her spine after falling from the stage at Wednesday's Super Bowl LVI victory celebration, and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford witnessed the incident.

Kelly Smiley, a sports photographer who works as a photo editor for the NFL and the L.A. Kings hockey team, gave an update on her condition Wednesday evening. "Unfortunately I fractured my spine," Smiley wrote, sharing a clip of the fall from earlier that day.

Stafford, 34, has faced criticism as the video shows him witnessing Smiley's fall, reacting and walking away, while his wife Kelly Stafford checks on the photographer. The University of Georgia alum might not have understood the severity of the situation, as he appeared to be intoxicated while partaking in the festivities, according to Instagram Story posts by his wife.

The Staffords and the Rams issued a joint statement to PEOPLE on Thursday: "We have been in communication with Kelly Smiley since yesterday's incident and we are sorry for what happened. As we told Kelly, we will be covering all her hospital bills and replacing her cameras. We wish her a speedy recovery."

A video of the full event appears to show Mrs. Stafford giving Smiley her phone to take a photo of the couple just seconds before she steps back and off the front of the stage.

Smiley later shared a clip from the hospital to her Instagram Story. Next to a picture of her sitting upright in a back brace while giving a thumbs up, she wrote, "Feeling ok. Staying the night in the trauma center. Thank you everyone for reaching out."

Kelly Smiley Rams Photographer injured
Kelly Smiley/Instagram

Her friend Tim Kothlow started a "Help Kelly Get Back on Her Feet" GoFundMe page to help cover her medical expenses and replace the camera gear that was damaged in the fall. The campaign has since surpassed its goal, amassing more than $36,000 at time of publication.

Kelly Stafford
Kelly Stafford/Instagram

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"Since Kelly is a working photographer, she needs this gear to help keep her working after fully recovering," Kothlow wrote. "Kelly is loved by all who know her and is a well-respected individual in the photography community."

After beating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 during Sunday's Super Bowl LVI, which took place at L.A.'s SoFi Stadium, the Rams celebrated their hometown victory Wednesday with a parade.

RELATED VIDEO: Matthew Stafford Celebrates 2022 Super Bowl Win by Playing in Confetti with Wife Kelly and Daughters

The route started at Shrine Auditorium and concluded with a rally outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Rams hosted games from 2016 to 2019 (they previously established their L.A. home in the same stadium back in 1946, where they remained until 1980).

Related Articles