Welcome to Blood Week. We put out the call last week for your tales of of blood, violence, gruesome injuries, near-death experiences, mayhem, and blood. Many of you came through with submissions, which we'll be posting throughout the week. If you have a story and/or photos to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with Blood Week in the subject line.
What you see above is an X-ray of Ron's arm. Ron was a pitcher in a community baseball league in the summer of 2010, when his right arm snapped in two during a game. Both Ron and one of his friends sent us a version of what happened at that moment, along with X-rays and photos of the arm. Click through the gallery to view the images and to read the stories as told by Ron and his friend and teammate, Bob.
Here is Ron's version of what happened:
In 2010 I decided to play baseball again. I was 27 and hadn't played in seven years. I found a men's league online and was put on a team with a bunch of new players. I was the only one that was any good at pitching (everyone else walked 10-plus batters an inning), so I pitched as often as possible. About halfway through the season my arm started to really bother me. I had trouble sleeping for three to four days after pitching because of the throbbing in my arm. My family and all my friends told me to stop pitching and go see a doctor, but I just kept saying it was muscle pain from overuse. I kept pitching and would take four to five Advil beforehand. On July 25, 2010, I was pitching the first game of a doubleheader. We were winning in the sixth inning, when my arm snapped in half while throwing a pitch. Everyone at the game heard it and said it sounded like a bat snapping. It turned out the pain I had been experiencing was a stress fracture.
Ron's teammate and then-roommate, Bob, tells the story this way:
Our best pitcher by was a younger guy named Ron. Ron had good stuff that was made to look absolutely filthy by our usual level of competition. As he was our best pitcher by far, he pitched a lot. At the time, he was my roommate and started to complain about pain around his elbow, but being a tough kid he pushed through it and continued to pitch. He knew it gave us our best shot to win. Now to the gross stuff: We had a game in South Jersey and it's really freaking hot, but Ron is straight dominating the other team. He had to have like 10 Ks through four innings and we winning by like four or five runs. As the resident fat guy on the team, I was playing first base and holding a running on when Ron went to deliver a pitch. Next thing I know, I hear what sounds like a foul ball off a wooden bat and see the ball rolling slowly about 10 feet in front of Ron. After about 3 seconds of WTF time, everyone realizes something is seriously wrong. Everyone runs out to the mound and looks at Ron's elbow. Nothing seems to be wrong until he tries to move his arm and it hinges about 3 inches above his elbow. To his credit, he reacts rather well for a man that just snapped his arm in half throwing a curveball. Only a few curse words and a lot of grimacing. As anyone who has played sports knows, ice cures all. So I run off to get some ice from the dugout and puke at the nastiest sight I have ever seen in person.
More from Bob:
Someone calls 911, and some other genius decides to rig up a sling out of a beach chair cover. The paramedics get to the field, but they can't drive on it because they are afraid to break sprinkler pipes. So they wheel a stretcher out to Ron, proceed to cut off Dr. McGyver's homemade sling, and have to wheel Ron about 200 yards over a bumpy middle school field to their ambulance while the two pieces of his upper arm rub against each other.
Ron concludes our tale with the end result:
I have had three surgeries (one to put in plate and screws, one to fix my radial nerve, and one to take out the plate and screws). I lost use of my hand for three months because of radial nerve damage suffered in the first surgery. The worst part is that my team went on to lose the game.