STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Struthers football player Christian Pascarella is healthy enough to give a thumbs-up Wednesday night, but that wasn’t the case earlier this week after Christian found himself hospitalized from an injury suffered in a game.
During Wednesday’s football practice, one person missing among the white jersey junior varsity players was 15-year-old sophomore safety Christian Pascarella.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” he said.
He spoke with First News outside St. Elizabeth Youngstown, where he’s been since Saturday after being injured in a game against Hubbard.
“I was running downfield to go make a tackle, and one of the receivers pushed me in the back and I fell right on top of a kid’s knee,” Christian said.
He was taken directly to St. E’s, and after meeting with the trauma team, the Pascarellas knew they were in for a fight.
“Lacerated spleen and lacerated left kidney. They said on impact, most of his kidney kind of exploded. It’s pretty severe,” said Christian’s dad John Pascarella.
One picture of Christian shows him hooked up to machines. His blood oxygen level dropped, his heart rate elevated, he had a fever, needed blood transfusions, and was put on oxygen.
“It was basically a freak accident, so it’s basically something you see in a car accident,” John said. “The first two nights were scary, needless to say. My wife and I got to sleep right next to him.”
Struthers Coach John Bayuk says the team sent Christian an autographed football and jersey.
“Every coach, every player here knows he’s one of the toughest kids on our team, so we know he’s going to be all right and fight through it,” John said.
And so far, Christian is winning. He’s feeling better. During our interview with him Wednesday, someone placed a crown on his head.
“The nurses made me a little crown because I missed Homecoming,” Christian said.
“With him being so young and in shape, they’re hoping that his body can repair it. So they’re just kind of monitoring him, checking him every hour. That’s what we’re praying right now, that his little body can fix itself and we can go on from there,” John said.
Christian says one of the worst things was being allowed to eat only ice chips. On Wednesday though, he was allowed Cheerios and ice cream, so that’s helped him feel better.