Big hit reveals serious medical condition for Kendall hockey player

February 14, 2017 05:53 PM

Many times hockey celebrates the big hit. One family in our area was actually thrilled that their son suffered a hit big enough that led to a concussion. That hit may have saved his life.

Monday night, Jimmy Z's Texas Hots in Brockport was packed with patrons ordering plates, wings, and other things. It was all part of a fundraiser to benefit the family of 16-year-old Payton Walters. On the 23rd of January, Payton suffered a hard hit at during a high school hockey game. He was immediately taken to Strong Hospital to test for a concussion, but what doctors discovered turned out to be much worse.

"We found out that he has an AVM in his head, and it's an arteriovenous malformation," says Dawnn Walters. "It's a tangled up network of blood vessels. There is always a risk when that AVM is in your head that it could rupture and he could have a stroke that could kill him."

With the diagnosis also come a slew of medical tests, doctors’ appointments, and a strong possibility of brain surgery. The Walters family has been traveling to Boston Children's Hospital to consult specialists. The bright spot in all of this has been the Rochester community's outpouring of support.

"It's amazing to see the hockey community come out like this," says Walters. "It's people we don't even know."

She adds, "I have goosebumps thinking about all of the things people here have done for us to help us out to be able to spend time with Payton and for the medical bills and to be able to be with him when he goes to Boston for surgery."

Payton is blown away by the help from friends and strangers alike and has a message for those who've showed support.

He says, "Thank you very much because even if I don't really know you, you're still out here supporting me so it's amazing. I didn't know, I had this many people behind me before this happened."

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Breland Moore

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