The Big Story Blog

Benilde-St. Margaret hockey player permanently paralyzed

Posted at 11:25 AM on January 5, 2012 by MPR News Staff
Filed under: Sport

By Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio News

The family of a gravely injured high school hockey player say he'll never play -- or walk -- again.

"This news is devastating to Jack and everyone who loves him," the family of Benilde-St. Margaret's sophomore Jack Jablonski wrote on his CaringBridge website. They said they hope his youth and strength may help him overcome at least some of his injury at some point. But they said that for now they are preparing to help him make a transition to life without being able to walk again.

Jablonski was injured Friday during a hockey game against Wayzata at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center. He was checked from behind and hit the boards on the side of the rink. He collapsed on the ice and told his dad he couldn't get up or move.

"Spinal cord damage of this type is irreparable with surgery," said the Hennepin County Medical Center surgeons who operated on Jablonski in a statement released Thursday. "However, Jack is young, strong and determined, and has excellent support from family, friends and the community. This support is essential to helping him recover from surgery and continue with the therapies he will require when he goes home."

"Jack Jablonski's surgery went very smoothly," the surgeons said. "We accomplished the necessary goals, which were to assess and stabilize his spinal column to prevent further injury and allow for rehabilitation."

But the surgeons said that Jablonsky suffered "obviously horrific" injuries. "Jack is young, strong and determined, and has excellent support from family, friends and the community," they said. "This support is essential to helping him recover from surgery and continue with the therapies he will require when he goes home."


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.