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A step forward for John Michael Night

Former lacrosse star no longer locked-in

John+Michael%E2%80%99s+senior+photo.
John Michael’s senior photo.

John Michael’s senior photo.

Courtesy of the Night Family

Courtesy of the Night Family

John Michael’s senior photo.

Drew Miller, Fact Checker

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   Many associate December with final exams and Christmas break; however, those in the Trinity community will never forget this time. The month of December 2015 changed Trinity forever, as beloved senior and lacrosse star John Michael Night suffered a debilitating stroke. The Trinity world was turned upside down, with many in disbelief and saddened by his severe stroke. Tears poured down the faces of those in the Trinity family as they learned the terrible events that took place.

  Since that day, the community has made countless efforts to support Night through his rehabilitation. Trinity has held multiple fundraisers, including a college lacrosse scrimmage, a car show, and a senior class-hosted run. Night was a star lacrosse player at Trinity, making his number, 24, important to his identity. JMStrong24 has become a nationally known recovery slogan, with names such as Donald Trump, who put on a JMStrong shirt, and the Pope, who sent a letter to Night, raising awareness. Other stars encouraging Night include the former AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson and a plethora of professional athletes, such as Kent Bazemore. The Trinity family has been tracking his recovery and there are new updates about his condition.

  After his stroke, Night was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome, meaning he was aware of his surroundings but could not communicate verbally or move his muscles. This was until recently, as his mom, Vickie Night, has provided an update.

  “Being truly locked-in means you can only move your eyes for the most part up and down,” Vickie Night said. “You have no volitional movement. John Michael has volitional movement in most of his muscles. He is working hard to gain function from these movements.”

  This was a significant development, as doctors were worried Night would never move again.

  Therapy has played a big role in Night’s progress.

  “Last summer, after we had been home for about six weeks, Dr. Corsa from Premier Therapies in Boca came to our home,” Vickie Night said. “The Evans family had experience with Dr. Corsa and brought her here to evaluate John Michael. At the beginning of this summer we decided a change of pace might be good for John Michael so we headed to Boca.”

  Through resilience and the tutelage of Dr. Corsa, who holds a doctorate in physical therapy, Night is slowly improving.

  In addition to the Night no longer being locked-in, a team of doctors reported that he had vertebral basilar hypoplasia. Basically, Night has low blood flow in the posterior circulation of the brain, which is due to the narrowing of several arterial structures. Doctors think the stroke could have been caused by his athletic work, as he required more blood flow than his arteries were able to provide. With only 20 percent of those with his condition surviving, doctors were surprised he lived and performed at such a high level athletically. Night is a true miracle.

  Going forward, Night will be on double platelet therapy. His blood pressure will be monitored, and he will have to stay well hydrated.

  The Trinity family will continue to send our prayers to the resilient alum.

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A step forward for John Michael Night