Phillips Hughes, a 26-year-old cricket player who was considered a rising star, died on Thursday despite extensive surgery to save his life.
The Australian cricketer was hit by a cricket ball, which can go as fast as 90 miles per hour, in the side of the neck at the Sydney Cricket Ground during a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday.
Hughes fell into a coma after the ball severed his vertebral artery, one of the main arteries leading to the brain, according to Australian team doctor Peter Brukner.
The rare condition known as vertebral artery dissection leads to subarachnoid brain haemorrhage.
Surgeons removed part of Hughes’ skull to relieve pressure and give more room for his swollen brain. However, Hughes never regained consciousness and died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday.
Even though Hughes wore a helmet, the fast-flying cricket ball hit the base of his skull behind the ear just below his helmet.
Brukner said only 100 cases of vertebral artery dissection have ever been reported, and only one of them was related to cricket.
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