HOUSTON -- A high school football player who suffered a broken neck during a weekend game remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday, paralyzed and unable to breathe on his own.
Jermaine Alexander, 16, was in critical condition at Hermann Hospital.
He is paralyzed from the neck down and is hooked to a respirator.
Alexander, a sophomore linebacker for South Houston High School, was injured making a 'textbook tackle' during a Saturday game against Sam Rayburn High in Pasadena, said his coach, Don Schmidt.
'Under the circumstances, he was making the normal tackle,' Schmidt said Sunday after reviewing game films.
But as soon as Alexander made contact with the Pasadena running back, he fell face down and his arms went limp.
Alexander suffered a compression fracture between the third and fourth cervical vertebrae and apparently damaged nerves to his brain's respiratory center, which controls involuntary breathing, doctors said.
The athlete was not breathing when trainers arrived at his side moments after the injury occurred, and team doctors administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for 16 minutes until an ambulance arrived.