According to a story from CBC News Toronto, Rayvonte Ball was an avid basketball player before he mysteriously collapsed on the court last year. Last March, the young man stopped breathing for several minutes, which was all it took for him to sustain major brain damage. Doctors are tying the incident to a rare condition called Long QT syndrome, which can cause irregular heartbeat and other complications.
Long QT syndrome is a condition which affects the ability of the heart to repolarize between beats. This makes the likelihood of irregular heartbeat increase. Irregular heartbeat can result in fainting, drowning, or sudden death. Hearing loss may be another symptom. Episodes of fainting can be triggered by exercise or stress. There are often no signs or symptoms before a fainting event, although seizures may occur in some cases. Risk factors include old age, liver or renal problems, family history, and preexisting heart problems. To learn more about this disease, click here.
In his current state, Rayvonte retains very little movement. While he is no longer completely comatose, he still has to spend the majority of his time at the hospital now. He can move his leg slightly, he can make facial expressions, and can communicate some by blinking his eyes. Doctors are also convinced that his eyesight is significantly worse than before.
However, these are all steps in the right direction for his mother Suzett. She hopes that the new year will be one of continued recovery for her son. The worst thing for Suzett is the fact that she has no way of knowing what degree of brain function that Rayvonte retains. There is no way to know if he is in pain. Suzett just hopes that her son still remembers her.
Since the incident, Rayvonte has received an outpour of support from his teammates at his high school, and they even took him to his high school graduation. Despite not completing some of his final classes due to the incident, the school determined that he still had the credits to graduate. Suzett has not worked since the incident. Although racked by anxiety and depression, she understands that the road to recovery for her son will be long and unpredictable. She only prays for the day that, hopefully, her son will be able to speak to her again.