A common occurrence in sports regardless of which one you are playing, is the simple fact that injuries will occur. However, there are certain instances in sports where injuries can become tragic. There have been times in football when players have become paralyzed such as Eric LeGrand from Rutgers. Some injuries can be too gruesome to watch, see Kevin Ware’s broken leg from the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament. When tragedy hits it becomes a moment that can be hard to comprehend. For 25 year-old Phillip Hughes, the sport that he loved more than anything took his life.
Cricket is a sport that not everyone is familiar with. In cricket, a bowler, which is comparable to a pitcher in baseball, will deliver the pitch by coming straight over the top in a windmill motion. The cricket ball bounces shortly before it reaches the batsman, which makes it more difficult to make contact with. On November 25th, a pitch that was delivered to Hughes struck him in the neck just below the ear.
Despite wearing a helmet, the ball struck Hughes in an unprotected area. After being hit, Hughes eventually collapsed and had to receive mouth-to-mouth resisitation. He was eventually taken to a nearby hospital in Sydney, Australia where he was listed in critical condition. Two days after being struck by the bouncer, Hughes tragically passed away just days before his 26th birthday.
The chief executive of Cricket Austrailia James Sutherland stated, “Without doubt, he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him." The doctor that treated Hughes stated that he never regained consciousness and due to the lack of improvement of his condition there was nothing else that the doctors could do to save the Cricket player’s life.
The rarity of the type of injury that caused the death is incomprehensible. When Hughes was struck, it caused a tear in his vertebral artery. This is better known as vertebral artery dissection, and there have only been 100 documented cases. The bleeding of the artery became so intense that Hughes had to have portion of his skull removed in order to see if would relieve some of the pressure on the artery. According to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Hughes was “A young man living out his dream. It’s a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family.”