Teen dies after basketball dunking accident

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BUCYRUS, Ohio (WTNH)–  A 16-year-old boy has died Wednesday after suffering a brain injury when a basketball hoop fell on him during a pickup game with friends late last month.

According to the Telegraph-Forum, Noah Lear, of Bucyrus Ohio, was playing basketball with some friends at a local church on February 27th, when while dunking a basket, the support post, backboard and rim came down on him, crushing his head and neck.

Lear was able to call his mother, Melissa Griffin, shortly after the accident, telling her that he hurt his teeth and that police were going to take him to the hospital. When Lear’s mother arrived at the hospital, she tells the Telegraph-Forum that’s when she began hearing trauma calls over the hospital loud speaker.

Lear had gone into cardiac arrest, which cut off oxygen to his brain. Doctors were able to revive Lear twice until a medical helicopter took him to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he was in coma.

“He went into cardiac arrest twice in Bucyrus and they brought him back and stabilized him so he could be moved to Columbus,” Griffin said.

Griffin credits Lear’s friends for keeping him alive by calling 911 and holding his head so the blood didn’t choke him. A the children’s hospital Lear underwent surgery and MRIs which all came back fine, but doctors needed a sign from Lear himself to see how things were going.

On March 4th, while undergoing a surgery to fix his separated jaw and fractured face and to check his vocal chords and trachea,  Lear became unable to breath on his own while a ventilator provided him six breaths per minute. He also was shaking uncontrollably from convulsions caused by extremely high blood pressure.

The Telegraph-Forum reports that on March 7th, he was breathing on his own again but had not come out of his coma even though the medicine had worn off. Last Monday, Lear was moved to hospice after his brain injuries were found to be worse than originally thought. According to a Facebook page set up for him, Lear “had brain activity and is breathing on his own, the part of his brain that controls his heart and blood pressure has been damaged very badly.”

On Wednesday, his Facebook page confirmed that “after fighting valiantly for 18 days, Noah has taken his last breath. He is no longer in pain.”  The post honored Lear’s life, while pointing out “that anything can happen in the blink of an eye.”


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