Minn. Hockey Player, 16, Paralyzed During Game

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The parents of a paralyzed high school hockey player say they’re praying for a miracle.

At Hennepin County Medical Center’s Pediatric Care Center, 16-year-old Jack Jablonski lies in a hospital bed, immobilized in a halo. Now, he’s waiting for surgery later this week.

His spinal cord was severed last Friday when he was hit during a game between Benilde St. Margaret and Wayzata. He was checked from behind by two Wayzata players sending him smashing into the boards.

“Jack didn’t move, and I went down by the ice and he said, ‘Dad, I can’t feel anything,'” Jack’s father, Mike, said. “That’s your worst nightmare as a parent.”

He was rushed to HCMC, where doctors say the outlook, medically, is grave.

“We are worried because he isn’t moving more at this time,” said Dr. Tina Slusher.

Now, the hallways outside his hospital room have been a sea of students wearing Benilde red. Jack is often surrounded by teammates who have been visiting almost around the clock.

“It hits you pretty hard. He is such a great kid,” said teammate Zach Hale.

His little brother, Max, has been reading him updates from his Facebook page, which has been exploding with well wishes.

Jack has had famous visitors, including hockey great Lou Nanne. His Caring Bridge site has also had more than 13,000 visits from around the world. It’s support that is carrying the family and Jack.

“We need a miracle and we need everyone to pray for him,” Jack’s mother, Leslie Jablonski, said.

Leslie has a message for the boys who delivered the paralyzing hits.

“It’s something they will never forget. Our heart goes out to them and their families,” said Leslie.

Mike said he feels strongly that USA Hockey needs to make rule changes that take tougher actions against the kinds of hits that have paralyzed his son.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Melissa

    I will pray in agreement for a miracle for this young boy. Just gut-wrenching.

  • Buddy

    How sad something like this happens….. poor young man.

  • Susan

    Saw this on the news, made me tear up, I pray for this boy and his family! .

  • Jack

    Sad testimony to our violent culture. After all, how do audiences react to a dramit and hard hit in professional hockey? The wonderful Jablonski family is in a tragic position to advocate for more sane hockey play.

    • tragic

      Always a slim chance,but a chance non the less in any ‘sport’ of this happening.Hate to see the injury ,but i know what you mean,fans LOVE those harder hits…

  • Ellen

    Keeping Jack and his family in my thoughts and prayers. Please join us and say prayer.

  • Rocky

    so young, lifes not fair, i know the pain, rough hockey at this young age has to stop, how many more will suffer for the rest of there life……way to bad……

  • Tc Kelly

    Our prayers are with you and your family in this time of need. I know exactly what you are going through. I went through the same thing. But you are strong, have a ton of great people that support and are pulling for you! If we can be of any help at all, a benefit, or anything please let us know! .

    ProHost Entertainment.

  • Tina Kellner DeToy

    I have a son that is a hockey player and this story has touched my heart!!!!!! I have teared up every time I have read and seen this!!!!! Sending prayers to Jack and his family!!! Please keep us posted on Jack!!!!! PRAYERS!!!!!!!

  • High school sports needs to impliment safeguards

    the Minnesota High school league needs to do something about forbidding head butting the ball in soccer. I have witness several kids in games suffering some concussions from this type of play. My son told me that one star soccer player on his team isn’t nearly as bright as he was before the concussion. Sports is about giving kids an outlet for exercise. It is not meant for them to emulate their professional counterparts.

    • jackactionhero

      “My son told me that one star soccer player on his team isn’t nearly as bright as he was before the concussion.”

      That isn’t how that works, and this is not the place for you to voice that opinion.

  • High school sports needs to impliment safeguards

    I also will pray for this 16 year old kid.

  • jackactionhero

    We have 4 boys in youth hockey and are saddened to hear of Jack’s injuries. Our family is keeping you all in our thoughts.

  • Laurie

    Pretty funny to see???? You are a sick human being and you need to go get help you very sick SOB.

  • Things like this suck!!!!!!!

    I will pray for the boy and his family. This is a terrible scenario no one should have to deal with. I can relate because I know someone who shattered her skull playing soccer and lost her memory. Things like this should never happen this young!!!!!

  • Keith A. Pieper

    What is happening to the referees that allowed the game to get to this point? What about the player that made the illegal hit? Finally, what about the coach that teaches/allows his team to play in such a fashion? As a coach, an attorney, and a father, I am appalled at how little consequence there has been toward those responsible.

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/01/21/hockey-day-minnesota-focuses-on-jablonski-family/ Hockey Day Minnesota Focuses On Jablonski Family « CBS Minnesota

    […] year’s Hockey Day Minnesota is also dedicated to the family of Jack Jablonski, the Benilde-St. Margaret’s hockey player paralyzed in a game last month. Jablonski suffered a paralyzing injury on Dec. 30 when he was checked from behind during a junior […]

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