Skip to main content

Teen wrestler describes the moment he was paralyzed during varsity match

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Wrestlers expect to pick up a few bumps and bruises on the mat, but a Sartell freshman now faces a long road to recovery after an innocuous move almost left him paralyzed.

Nathan O'Brien woke up in hospital unable to move his arms or legs five hours after he was given a "fireman's carry" during a match against Sauk Rapids on January 22, FOX 9, which has footage of the incident, reports.

It was a move done on him hundreds of times before, only this time his body went limp after he landed, while his parents watched on from the sidelines.

"I remember getting out on the mat and wrestling for a little bit. And then when I hit my head it kinda went bright really quick," he told the news station. "It almost felt like I was in a dark box."

This embed is invalid

Fortunately his paralysis is only temporary and he has slowly but surely been making a recovery, with his mother Brenda keeping his teammates updated via the Sartell Wrestling Facebook page as he regained the use of his legs.

"Nathan is taking many steps without the walker today," she said on February 1. "He is determined to be walker free this week !! Meet with rehab therapist Tuesday. So thankful he is gaining strength every day."

The freshman comes from a family of wrestlers, with his brothers Caleb and Daniel joining him on the varsity team, while his 12-year-old brother Jacob also wrestles, the St. Cloud Times reports.

He spent five days in hospital after sustaining the spinal injury, and while he is grateful to have gradually regained the use of his body, he's disappointed not to finish out the season.

The wrestler who gave O'Brien the fireman's carry has been trying to contact him to apologize. "It shows good sportsmanship and character," O'Brien's father Mark told the newspaper.

Next Up

St. Louis County

St. Louis County set to declare state of emergency ahead of peak flood levels

Volunteers are urgently needed for sandbagging efforts in a small community near Voyageurs National Park.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 5.03.30 PM

Brothers Bar & Grill closes in downtown Minneapolis

The Midwest chain closed its St. Cloud location in 2018.

Ken Jeong

Licensed physician Ken Jeong to do standup in MN this September

The licensed physician will take the stage at Treasure Island Resort and Casino on Sept. 30.

Osseo Police Department

Osseo PD says officer did not pursue suspect who caused fatal crash

The crash happened in Brooklyn Park early Sunday morning.

221 Main Street. E. Albert Lea

Suspect arrested after 3 family members stabbed in Albert Lea

The three victims are related, according to police.

wastewater

Evidence that omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 are in Minnesota

The European CDC has warned of a possible significant summer surge fueled by the omicron subvariants.

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

police lights

Arrest made after person shot at Hopkins apartment building

Police say this was an isolated incident and that the victim and suspect knew each other.

covid

BA.2.12.1 omicron subvariant quickly becoming dominant in MN

Experts say the subvariant is more transmissible but there is not evidence to suggest it causes more severe disease.

Related