Elbow blow in basketball game sends 17-year-old to surgeon - KMSP-TV

Elbow blow in basketball game sends 17-year-old to surgeon

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It's well known that injuries are a possibility when someone plays sports, but one Minnesota family never expected an elbow to the stomach during a basketball game could be life-threatening.

Although basketball can be an intense sport to play, it's not a collision game like football -- but 17-year-old LaRon Reynold's mother is warning parents and players that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous to take to the court.

"Sunday, June 1st, during a basketball game," LaRon Reynolds recalled. "Me being elbowed caused me to have internal bleeding."

Reynolds has spent 10 days at North Memorial Hospital so far.

"He has to have surgery to stop the bleeding. He's on a feeding tube. He has two drain tubes in his stomach and he's in a lot of pain," his mother, LaRonna Reynolds, told Fox 9 News.

The 17-year-old athlete was playing for the AAU Running Shoes when he took the elbow blow, which his mother says left him with a bruised pancreas and a duodenal hematoma.

"From what I'm told, he blocked another player's shot and after that, the player elbowed him in his stomach," LaRonna Reynolds.

LaRonna Reynolds took her son to urgent care because he was vomiting and in pain, but they were quickly referred to the hospital.

"They were glad that he got in when he did and that he didn't bleed in his sleep because he might not be here right now," LaRonna Reynolds said.

As for whether the elbow was intended, sports physician Grant Morrison said, "This sounds like major trauma -- a car accident kind of impact, something that would be very unexpected in sports."

LaRonna Reynolds asked her son's doctors how often they see basketball-related images like the one her son suffered, but their response has her seeing red.

"They haven't seen anything like this," she explained.

Morrison told Fox 9 News that it "certainly seems like maybe there was a heated element emotionally to the nature of that game they were playing," and he has some advice for parents to consider when courtside.

"I would say to moms in general, if you can see your kids are getting emotional out there, take a break," he recommended.

Doctors believe LaRon Reynolds will make a full recovery, but his family has already seen an awful lot of hospital lately. In fact, the teen's sister recently suffered an upper respiratory infection that landed her in the ER as well. The two trips have created quite a financial burden for the family, and a donation fund has been set up to help offset their medical costs.

DONATE: Help the Reynolds

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