Former Oakland Raider linebacker Neiron Ball is fighting for his life.
Ball, 26, has been battling a rare, congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM), that causes the brain’s blood vessels to get tangled and rupture.
Last September, he was admitted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after a brain aneurysm ruptured. He was placed in a medically-induced coma at the time and is currently a paraplegic in a long-term care facility in Georgia. His family has started a GoFundMe to raise money for his medical care and to get him into a proper neurological facility.
“Neiron is currently fighting for his life. Unfortunately, his health insurance does not cover the appropriate care necessary to give him the best chance of recovery,” the GoFundMe page says. “With the appropriate neurological and rehabilitative care, Neiron will be given the fighting chance he deserves.”
Ball originally underwent emergency brain surgery in 2011, during his sophomore year at Florida, after physicians discovered a brain bleed before his sophomore season. He sat out the year but excelled for the Gators when he returned in 2012. He was then told that his originally diagnosed AVM wouldn’t recur.
Ball played in just six games and started a pair of those with the Raiders in his 2015 rookie year after getting drafted in the fifth round of that year’s draft out of Florida. His season was cut short due to a knee injury, but he managed to record a fumble recovery and a sack with five tackles in his really short career. He parted ways with the Raiders in 2017.
Newly-signed Raiders tackle Trent Brown holds a special relationship with Ball. Both were teammates at Florida and best friends throughout. Ball was drafted a day before Brown was taken by the Niners in the seventh round. Brown signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Raiders during the spring.