Ex-Raiders player in coma with brain aneurysm

The Oakland Raiders delivered difficult news Tuesday that former linebacker Neiron Ball is in a medically induced coma after suffering a brain aneurysm on September 16.

The 26-year-old started two games for the Raiders as a rookie in 2015, a remarkable accomplishment after he survived a harrowing ordeal battling a rare brain condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM) while playing at the University of Florida. 

Foundation: Neiron Ball suffered burst brain aneurysm

The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation spoke with Ball’s family on Tuesday and released a statement on Twitter regarding his condition.

Ball had beat condition while attending Florida

Ball’s brain condition first surfaced at Florida in 2011 during a football workout. What started as a dull pain in his lower neck led to Ball being hooked up to a morphine drip in the hospital where the pain was so intense, he couldn’t tolerate light. Ball’s brother-in-law Dary Myricks described the scene to Yahoo Sports’ Eric Adelson.

“When I saw him, he was in so much pain,” Myricks said. “I knew they’d have tubes and medicine, but he was literally screaming when we walked in.”

Doctors discovered bleeding on his brain and eventually diagnosed him with AVM, a condition where the brain’s blood vessels get tangled and rupture. 

Ball underwent intense radiation procedure

Ball eventually underwent a medical procedure to radiate the vessel, intended to create scarring that would cause the tangle vessel to clot.

From Adelson’s report:

Finally, Ball returned to Gainesville for surgery. He had a brace attached to his head, cinched into place with four screws. He was given some dye to drink, then was put into a huge radiation chamber while surgeons tried to clot the AVM and stop the bleeding. All Ball could think as he entered the machine was, “I hope this works.”

It did work, but how well? The pain finally subsided, but Ball underwent months of MRIs to make sure the lesion caused by the radiation kept the vessels from bursting again. 

Ball recovered to play football again

Cleared by doctors, Ball went on to a stunning recovery that saw him return to the football field with the Gators and eventually become a fifth-round draft pick by the Raiders in 2015.

While in Oakland, Ball befriended a 10-year-old Raiders fan who had also suffered AVM, a condition believed to affect 300,000 Americans.

A knee injury, not his brain condition, eventually cut Ball’s Raiders’ career short.

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2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony
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2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Brian Dawkins poses with his bust during the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 4, 2018 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Ray Lewis unveils his bust along with daughter Diaymon Lewis during the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 4, 2018 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Ray Lewis poses with his bust along with daughter Diaymon Lewis during the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 4, 2018 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Emcee Chris Berman addresses the crowd during the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on August 4, 2018, at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Randy Moss poses for photographers next to his Hall of Fame bust after he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on August 4, 2018, at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 04: Robert Brazile points into the crowd as he makes his speech during the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on August 4, 2018, at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Aug 4, 2018; Canton, OH, USA; Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 enshrinee Ray Lewis during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Bensen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 4, 2018; Canton, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos former safety Brian Dawkins poses with bust during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Bensen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 4, 2018; Canton, OH, USA;Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers former receiver Randy Moss speaks during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Bensen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Raiders reach out to fanbase

The Raiders asked for the support of their fanbase as Ball is again unexpectedly dealing with the condition that he thought he had beaten.

“The Raiders ask that Neiron Ball and his family are kept in the thoughts and prayers of the Raider Nation during this difficult time.”

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