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Parents: Hockey Player Won’t Walk Again

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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (AP) — The parents of a high school hockey player who suffered a spinal cord injury in a game last week say their son won’t be able to walk again.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Jablonski had spinal fusion surgery Wednesday at Hennepin County Medical Center. The Benilde-St. Margaret sophomore suffered a severed spinal cord at the neck and two fractured vertebrae after he was checked from behind in a game Friday against Wayzata at St. Louis Park Recreation Center.

His parents, Leslie and Mike Jablonski wrote on their son’s CaringBridge website Wednesday night that Jack’s surgery was successful, but that it confirmed his injury was horrific. The Jablonskis say that, as they feared, their son won’t be able to walk or skate.

By Thursday morning, the hockey player’s CaringBridge website had more than 147,000 visits.

The Catholic schools in the Twin Cities have organized a fundraiser called “Catholic Schools for Jack” in honor of Jablonski.

On Friday, faculty, staff and students from Cretin-Derham Hall, Hill-Murray and Holy Angels will wear red and white in honor of Jablonski. Totino-Grace faculty, staff and students will do the same on Monday. Other Catholic schools in the Twin Cities have been invited to participate as well. All schools involved will be collecting donations to help pay for Jablonski’s medical costs, and large cards will be posted at each school for people to leave their well wishes.

“Our hearts go out to Jack and his family and the entire Benilde St. Margaret’s community,’” said Jeff Ferguson, Dean of Students at Totino-Grace. “This strikes so close to home. You feel helpless. We asked, ‘What can we do?’”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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