A young up-and-coming Laguna Beach, CA surfer who was moving up the competitive ranks at amateur surf contests is in a medically induced coma after suffering a near-fatal head injury while snowboarding in Oregon, reports ocregister.com.
Brayden Belden’s snowboarding accident happened on Feb. 20, and he was airlifted from the mountain to a hospital in nearby Bend. Doctors hurried to stabilize Belden so he could be airlifted a second time to Portland, where the experts and proper equipment could give him a chance for survival. He held on through the flight and remains at the ICU of Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland in a medically induced coma.
Belden was ranked second in the 2016/17 season in Explorer Super Groms for the National Scholastic Surfing Association, an impressive showing for a first-year competitor, according to Janice Aragon, executive director for the National Scholastic Surfing Association.
“Brayden is a very cool kid with a beaming smile. A promising young surfer with a bright future,” Aragon said.
His parents drove in blizzard conditions to meet him at the hospital, not knowing how critical his injury was.
“When they arrived, they received the news no parent ever wants to hear: the injury was much more serious than initially believed, and their son might only have hours to live,” reads a GoFundMe page set up for his medical costs. “For the next hour, Brayden’s life hung in the balance as doctors worked to stabilize him so that he might survive a second life flight to Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, where the right experts and equipment could give him a fighting chance.”