Injured female hockey player improving, sensing pain

1:43 PM, Jan 9, 2012   |    comments
With permission from Privette family
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MINNEAPOLIS - A female hockey player who suffered a potentially paralyzing injury in a game Friday night may be improving, according to a school official.  

Her family says Jenna Privette, an 18-year-old senior from St. Croix Lutheran High School, was checked from behind and immediately had no feeling in her arms and legs.

Apparently there has been improvement. Gene Pfeifer, the president of St. Croix Lutheran, says he talked with Privette's family around 6 p.m. Sunday. Penny Privette, Jenna's mother, told Pfeifer that Jenna now has feeling and some movement in her arms and pain in her back, which is an indication that she may not be permanently paralyzed.

Earlier, Jenna's father Dan Privette told the Associated Press that Jenna's spirits were "up and down." Privette's mother had previously told school officials that images from an MRI reveal no breaks in the bones on Jenna's spine.

She remains at Hennepin County Medical Center, and at this point is accepting no visitors. More detailed news of Jenna's condition could be forthcoming early this week.

The school released a statement on Jenna Privette and her battle on Monday afternoon. It reads:

St. Croix students and staff have rallied to support senior hockey player Jenna Privette and her family after learning of the serious injury she suffered in a hockey game last Friday. Jenna has been hospitalized while doctors are working to determine the reason for the loss of feeling in her legs.

Today (Monday) the St. Croix Lutheran "family" gathered at morning chapel to pray together for Jenna's complete recovery and to be encouraged knowing that God has a plan and purpose for Jenna's life and we patiently wait for his next steps to be revealed.

Cards and messages, which Jenna's parents will deliver to her, can be brought to the school office. At this time, the family and doctors ask that Jenna have no visitors. On Wednesday, the St. Croix students will dress in blue, the color of Jenna's hockey team, to show their support. They will also sell wristbands with the message "Jenna #23, In our hearts" with proceeds going to Jenna's family.

The Privette family has a sincere concern that this incident does not take anything away from the focus on Jack Jablonski. Jenna, along with teammates of the Minnehaha Saints, was instrumental in organizing a fundraiser for Jack with proceeds from last Friday's game designated for the Jack Jablonski Fund.

Jenna plays hockey on the Minnehaha Saints, a co-op team made up of students from Minnehaha Academy, St. Croix Lutheran High School and St. Agnes High School. Pfeifer says all three schools are planning to wear blue, the color of the Saints uniforms, on Wednesday to support Jenna in her recovery.

Student leaders at St. Croix Lutheran are working on "Support Jenna" bracelets, to raise money to help her family cover mounting medical bills.   

Privette's injury came a week after Jack Jablonski, a Benilde-St. Margaret's School hockey player, suffered a paralyzing injury after being checked from behind during a junior varsity hockey game against Wayzata.

Jablonski's doctors have stated that it is unlikely he will ever walk again, but his parents say Jack is making progress, and that he was able to lift one arm over the weekend.


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