Nick springer, Who became Paralympic gold medalistsN wheelchair rugby in 2008 in BeijingNine years after contracting meningococcal meningitis, which resulted in partial amputation of his arms and legs, he died on April 14 in Chandler, Ariz., A suburb of Phoenix. He was 35.
His father, Gary, said Springer, who lives in Phoenix, died in a friend’s pool after finishing his lap. A cause of death had not yet been determined, but he was seeing a cardiologist for an arrhythmia.
Wheelchair Rugby – also known as “Murderball”, was titled 2005 a documentary about sports – Springer’s love of rough-and-tumble action. He had played hockey since the age of 5 or 6, was expected to become a professional and play for the New York Rangers.
In 2000, a year after losing legs above his arms and knees, he turned to sledge hockey while still in rehab. He later took up wheelchair rugby, an often violent sport that incorporated elements of traditional rugby, basketball and handball.
“A lot of people look at me like I’m fragile,” Springer told The New York Times in 2003. “The game gives me a chance to get out there and bang myself.”
Springer first tried wheelchair rugby in 2003, “he smiled ear-to-ear,” Dad, I think I can be really good at it, “said Gary Springer. His father left his home in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, in Westchester County, in Hackensack, NJ, and practiced for the tournament, where he competed with a team from the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (now United States Spinal Association) Belongs to.
He quickly dropped out: he joined the development team Usa wheelchair rugby, The governing body of the sport formed the US national team in the spring of 2005, and the following year, when it won a gold medal at the World Championships. In 2008, the team won the Canada Cup and the gold medal over Australia at the Paralympics in Beijing.
“He was a great defender – probably the longest defender of the world’s best” Scott hogsett, A friend in the 2008 team and a partner of Springer. He said, “The main reason we won the gold medal; He defended one of the world’s best players “- Australian wheelchair rugby star Really Bat -” and shut down. “
But amidst the misery, China won. Springer’s mother, Nancy (Ford) Springer, was dying of cancer while her husband and her daughter Olivia were in the Paralympics.
In January 2008, Springer stopped playing wheelchair rugby and came home when his mother first learned he had cancer.
“He looked me in the eye and said, ‘If you don’t go to the Olympics, it will crush me.” “And he said, ‘One thing you have to promise is that you won’t stop it from winning a gold medal.”
As Ms. Springer was in a coma, friends and family watched the gold medal play on a laptop and surrounded her son listening to the announcer as “Nick the Tank”. He died the next day, before the son, husband and daughter went home.
The gold medal, Springer said, is how he will remember it.
“This is my mother’s medal,” he told Journal News.
Nicholas Bowen Springer was born on June 9, 1985 in Manhattan and grew up in Brooklyn and Croton-on-Hudson. Her father is an entertainment campaigner, and her mother taught deaf children and was one of several founders of the National Meningitis Association.
Springer had hockey on his mind in August 1999. He had completed a two-week goal camp near Toronto – going on to play on his high school’s Junior Variety team that fell – and attending Sleeve Camp in Western Massachusetts.
After a three-day, 30-mile hike, he began to experience terrible symptoms, which continued to worsen over the next 16 hours. Purple spots appear on his stomach, indicating blood clots. All were symptoms of meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the protective membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
One in five people with meningitis may have amputation, deafness, and brain and kidney damage; With rapid treatment, 10 to 15 percent die. According to the National Meningitis Association.
Springer was sent to a hospital in Pittsfield, Mass., And then quickly airlifted to another in Springfield, where his limbs began to fail and his blood pressure nearly dropped to zero. He was given a 10 percent chance of survival.
He was transferred to a hospital in Manhattan, where he underwent a controversial phase while in a medically induced coma, which would last eight weeks.
After Jagran, according to a 2003 New York Times article, he told his father: “Dad, I don’t think I have any fingers. I think I know about my feet too. Gary Springer said : “Me and my wife look at each other and say, ‘This is our new normal thing.” Because Nick is alive. He is still Nick. “
Springer refused to wear prosthetics or use electric wheelchairs. And he played wheelchair rugby tirelessly.
“At a very high level, it can be really violent, and that’s what people like about it,” said his friend Scott Hogsett. “You don’t want to see two people in wheelchairs crashing as much as you can?”
Springer was named 2009 Athlete of the Year United States Quad Rugby Association, Joe oversees a league of local teams in Sarasota, Fla. And Phoenix, where the Hogsets were teammates. He was also on the 2010 World Championship team and the 2012 Paralympic team, which won the bronze medal.
“Nick was just cruel,” Joe Delagrove, In 2012 a teammate said. “We met in 2009, and he got me to play at a high level. He was phenomenal in mentioning and loving people. “
In addition to her father, Springer is survived by her sister, Olivia McCall, and her father’s partner, Elizabeth Sear.
Springer, who graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, was an advocate for meningitis vaccine awareness. He began speaking in 2005 in colleges and community organizations and health professionals on behalf of the Meningitis Association and Novartis, which created a vaccine. In 2015, he began speaking exclusively to health workers after Novartis sold most of its vaccine business to GlaxoSmithKline.
His father said: “He used to talk about getting sick, before he got sick, and how his parents didn’t know there was a vaccination that could have prevented it.”