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Maggie Hendricks

Fighter Jessica Bednark in coma after training session


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Frightening news came out of Minnesota this weekend, as fighter Jessica Bednark fell into a coma after a training session.

When Bednark took her gloves and head gear off, she told gym owner Scott Kelm that her legs felt like jelly. She lay down and shut her eyes. When Kelm noticed that her breathing was shallow, he called 911. Bednark’s boyfriend, Jay Gould, said that the ambulance [technician] then noticed that one pupil was larger than the other, an indication of brain trauma. A catscan indicated a ruptured artery in Jessica’s brain. ”Whether it came from a vital blow or swelling on the brain, we don’t know,” Kelm said.

As originally reported on, Bednark went in for emergency surgery at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon and had part of her skull removed. She remains in ICU in a medically induced coma.

Bednark is 5-2, and was training for a June 12 fight against Adrienna Jenkins. Her family and friends are reporting that Bednark doesn't have health insurance, and they are accepting donations to help with her care. Click here for more information on donations.

With Bednark still in a coma, I hope that MMA's opponents don't use this as an opportunity to rail against the sport. Her injury is serious and scary, but rare. Bednark isn't the only other athlete who suffered a serious injury due to sports this weekend. Jockey Rene Douglas was likely paralyzed when he was knocked off his horse in a race at Arlington Park Racetrack in suburban Chicago this weekend. At this point, the last thing Bednark needs is condemnation of her or her sport. She needs prayers and support.

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