A California high school football player is in a medically induced coma after suffering an apparent head injury during a game.
Josh Nava, 18, a senior safety at Riverside Poly High School, was hit and went to the ground at the end of the third quarter Friday of a game against Moreno Valley Rancho Verde. Nava stumbled off the field and then collapsed on the sideline.
Nava’s injury was the fourth known catastrophic injury in high school football nationally during a two-day period last week.
In Chicago, Bogan High’s Andre Smith died from accidental blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Cook County coroner, after being injured on the last play of the game.
In Oklahoma, Bethany’s Hudson Haws is paralyzed from the waist down after breaking three vertebrae on a first-quarter tackle. Haw was taken off a ventilator Monday and doctors will know the full extent of his injuries once the swelling in his spine subsides.
In Tennessee, Seigel’s Baylor Bramble remains in critical condition after undergoing surgery on his brain early Saturday morning following a head injury in the game hours earlier. He was on a ventilator as of Tuesday and was scheduled for an MRI.
In Nava’s case, athletic trainers called for the ambulance and he was taken to the hospital where surgery was performed to relieve pressure on his brain, according to the Riverside Press Enterprise.
“He made a tackle and came off the field, and everything seemed normal, and then he went through concussion symptoms,” stepfather Ron Ford told KCBS-2.
As of Tuesday, the bleeding on Nava’s brain has stopped and the swelling is going down, school booster club president Brian MacLean told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. In a Facebook post, Nava’s brother, Luis, wrote that Josh was “breathing on his own.”
Here is the full text of the Facebook post: From Luis Nava: Thank you all so so much for all the prayers thank you god most importantly but friends teachers parents of students and everyone that have been praying for my brother great beautiful news has just occur right now my brother joshua is breathing on his own thank you so much for love you all have shown let’s keep praying as for now I am so happy and thankful for everyone that has been there for us in this very rough time that we the family have been going through thank you for the support. This is a true Miracle everyone’s prayer are being answer from our father God. Thank you once again for everything may god bless each one of you. My mom is so grateful for everyone she said what you all have done is beautiful we love you all you all have touch our hearts and also been there by our side we truly are very thankful. Beautiful hearts is what you all have thank you so much. God is powerful god is all love. Thank you all so much!!! We need to continue with the prayers. I thank go so much and pray each one of you as well. Thank you so much!!! God is hearing us!!!
According to the school district, it follows and teaches the safe tackling techniques and that it has upgraded all helmets. The players wear helmets with sensor to gauge the severity of impact. The school said it is still gathering the data from Nava’s helmet.
“We fit all of those helmets with what’s called an inside sensor, and that sensor is in there to kind of monitor the severity of certain impacts and also the frequency of certain impacts as well. We get an alert on the sideline — it’s all electronic — that says, ‘Hey, this student needs to be looked at,’” spokesman Justin Grayson told KABC.