Today the Raiders issued a Tweet asking for thoughts and prayers for former player Neiron Ball, who suffered his second major brain trauma earlier this month.
The Raiders ask that Neiron Ball and his family are kept in the thoughts and prayers of the Raider Nation during this difficult time.— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) September 25, 2018
Ball is currently in a medically induced coma after suffering a brain aneurysm on Sept. 16 pic.twitter.com/t4UowTNsfI
The Myricks and Ball family are asking for prayers to be lifted for JHS alumnus Neiron Ball. He is currently in a coma and is not responding to stimuli as desired, and the family will be with him this week to... https://t.co/sbq9Tn3H0F— Butts County Schools (@ButtsCoSchools) September 24, 2018
Ball, 26, spent two years with the Raiders before being released in July of 2017. He was injured for most of his tenure with the team, starting only two games, struggling with knee issues that had nothing to do with his brain. The fact that Ball even made it to the NFL is a miracle at all, considering his initial injury while at the University of Florida.
In 2011, Ball had to leave a Gators practice because of severe pain. He went to the hospital and it was discovered that his brain was bleeding. Doctors eventually figured out that Ball had suffered from an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) which had burst. This is a rare condition, affecting less than 1% of the population, and is often fatal.
Doctors radiated the vessel, the goal of which was to cause clotting and healing. But as soon as Ball returned to Georgia, the pain came back as before. Ball underwent more radiation treatments. It seemed to work this time, and Ball began his slow return to football. He had lost both his parents before the age of 10, and football was his main focus. Ball worked hard and in the summer of 2012 he was cleared to play football again. He played well enough to be drafted by the Raiders in the fifth round in 2015.
Sometimes AVMs are obliterated, go away and never rear their ugly heads again. Sometimes, they do not. Apparently, Ball’s returned in the form of an aneurysm. And today he is fighting for his life, a fight he has fought before. Raider Nation is behind him.