Outpouring of support for paralyzed high school hockey player

Lou Nanne, Jack Jablonski
Former North Stars general manager Lou Nanne visits Jack Jablonski at Hennepin County Medical Center. Jablonski, 16, was paralyzed after being hit from behind during a junior varsity hockey game on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. He is a sophomore at Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, Minn.
Photo courtesy of Christine Hill, HCMC

A neurosurgeon at Hennepin County Medical Center said surgery has confirmed high school hockey player Jack Jablonski has a severed spinal cord and won't walk again.

During a Benilde-St. Margaret's school junior varsity game last week, Jablonski, 16, was checked from behind and into the boards. Surgery this week repaired the bones around his spinal cord, but Dr. Walter Galicich said the procedure confirmed that the cord itself was severed and irreparable.

Jablonski does have some use of his right arm and eventually will be able to hold up his head, Galicich said.

"That little bit of biceps function is going to allow a significant amount of independence; driving a wheelchair, feeding himself, etc.," he said.

Galicich said Jablonski's family is devastated but thankful for the support they've received, mostly online.

Students at Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park wore white on Thursday in support of their classmate, as did students at several other schools. Benilde administrators say they've heard from people around the world. The high school's website has a page with info on donating to the family.