Reporting Esme Murphy
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — Students throughout the state wore white to school to show support for injured hockey player Jack Jablonski.
Jablonski was paralyzed after taking a hit in a hockey game between Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Wayzata last Friday.
The outpouring continues online for “Jabs” — as he’s known — with nearly 200,000 visits to his CaringBridge site and messages of support on Facebook.
On Thursday, Jablonski’s detailed the devastating injury and said that the teenager is never expected to walk again. The surgeon said the teen’s spinal cord was severed when his head went smashing into the boards after being checked.
The doctor said Jablonski will need the overwhelming show of support to continue as he adjusts to his new life.
The Jablonski family wrote that the news is “devastating” to the standout athlete. The family wrote on their Caring Bridge site that “Our priority is to help Jack accept and transition into his new life, a life that we did not plan, but one that we have to embrace.”
The surgeon who operated on Jablonski yesterday said the teen can only move the bicep in his right arm and that doctors do not expect improvement.
“Hopefully we are wrong and he is going to prove me wrong. I would like nothing better,” said Dr. Walter Galicich.
Dr. Galicich said Jablonski does have a number of things going for him in what is obviously going to be a long road ahead. Those are his youth, his level of fitness before the injury and what everyone has seen with the extraordinary support he has not only from his family and friends but an entire community.
At Benilde-St. Margaret’s, where Jablonski is a sophomore, students decided to wear white to show their support. Through Facebook and Twitter, news of the white-out spread, and at countless schools, including Edina, other students wore white too.
At Breck School in Golden Valley, most students who wore white don’t know Jablonski. Ben Gleekel has known him since he was five.
“He is the nicest kid I have ever met. I don’t think I have ever heard him say one mean thing or do one mean thing. He gets along with everyone he knows,” said Gleekel.
A fund has been set up to help pay for Jablonski’s medical expenses as he goes through these trying times.
Donations can be sent to the Jack Jablonski Fund, P.O. Box 16387, St. Louis Park, MN 55416. Donations can also be made in person to the fund at any Wells Fargo bank location.