Former Florida Gator, who drew widespread support following brain aneurysm, has passed
A former Florida Gator, who rallied loads of support during his fight after a brain aneurysm, has passed.
Neiron Ball played at Florida from 2011-14, but in recent weeks struggled to recover from that brain aneurysm that left him paralyzed in all four limbs and in need of significant care and rehabilitation.
The official Florida Gators Twitter account put out this statement: “Rest in Peace, Neiron. You’ll be forever remembered and always missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe effort raised more than $136,000 and noted Ball’s medical challenges began when he was diagnosed with a rare, congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM). This condition causes the brain’s blood vessels to get tangled and rupture. On September 16, 2018, Ball was admitted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta with a ruptured blood vessel and diagnosed with an aneurysm.
A graduate of Florida, Ball was a drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
In an Orlando Sentinel story last month, Ball’s coach at Florida, Will Muschamp said, “It’s just a sad situation. He’s as a delightful young man as you’ll ever be around. A selfless young man that was so good with people, great with kids, had a smile on his face all the time.”
In just a sample of the support received, former Gators Jon Bullard, Jaylen Watkins, Chaz Green, Max Garcia, Keanu Neal and Jordan Reed gave between $1,000 and $10,000 each. NFL All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack, Ball’s teammate in 2015 with the Oakland Raiders, gave $7,000. Overall, more than 2,000 people have contributed to assist Ball with his plight.
“It tells what kind of teammate he was and what kind of person he is,” Muschamp said.
Ball had brain surgery in 2011, but returned to the Gators in 2012 and had 94 tackles during 45 games at UF. Ball recorded 9 tackles, including a sack, during his one NFL season.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 10, 2019