BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A 16-year-old Minnesota boy is lucky to be alive after his throat was accidentally sliced open during high school hockey practice.
WCCO reports that Michael Spinner was at summer hockey training Wednesday, when he was going for the puck and was caught by another player’s skate blade and severed his jugular vein.
Spinner skated to the bench not knowing he was severely injured.
“I kind of felt it, and there was just a silence in the rink. I just kind of knew it right at that point,” he said to WCCO.
Spinner’s coaches used hockey socks to apply pressure to the wound to slow the bleeding, while 911 was called.
Spinner’s father learned of the accident while on a business trip in Wisconsin.
“There was a possibility that my son may die. He had lost a very large amount of blood,” Bob Spinner said.
Spinner’s mother drove to the hospital and learned her son’s condition was worse than initially thought.
Doctors performed a nearly two hour surgery and closed the wound to the jugular vein and saved Michael’s life.
“They said that if the coach did not apply the immediate pressure that he did, I could have bled out in under two minutes,” Michael said.
This kind of hockey accident is rare but it is also highly preventable. Several teams require all players to wear neck protection collars.
The collars are also mandatory in some youth hockey programs. Neck protection is not a requirement of the Minnesota State High School League or statewide youth hockey programs.
Spinner is expected to be sidelined for only 10 days.