Tag Archives: PAL

Miracles happen, Ishika Lay on the road to recovery!

Miracles happen, Ishika Lay on the road to recovery!

Back in October at the 2011 PAL Championships as Ishika Lay lapsed into a coma in critical condition at St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, her family, friends and the boxing world worried that she might not recover.

Ishika Lay in Recovery, Photo: Florida Times Union

Ishika Lay, a consummate athlete who had been well on her way towards a berth in the upcoming Olympic Trials, has turned the proverbial tide, and while she has lost her shot at representing the United States this year, she is well on the way towards recovery nearly four months later.

It is believed that Ishika Lay suffered from Second-Impact Syndrome. While not as well-known as other head injuries, Second-Impact Syndrome occurs when an athlete already reeling from a blow  actually succumbs to a second blow days or even weeks afterwards. As in Ishika Lay’s case, she had taken a shot while sparring ten days before, and had even complained of headaches, but had otherwise not been encouraged to see a doctor or in anyway treat her symptoms.

In her first PAL bout, the likely winner of the contest, she was never hit hard, but athletes suffering from Second-Impact Syndrome can fall horribly ill even from the lightest of impacts due to the fact that their brains haven’t had a chance to recover from the initial impact. This is the likely scenario that felled Ishika Lay.

As noted in Garry Smits article entitled Women’s Boxer Ishika Lay recovers after coma,  the mantra “when in doubt sit it out,” must become the new normal in boxing.  In Ishika Lay’s case, while it would have meant disappointment at being scratched from her PAL match, she wouldn’t have otherwise undergone her life-threatening ordeal.

Thankfully, Ishika Lay is on the road to recovery with thrice weekly rehabilitation on an outpatient basis at a hospital near  her home in Florida, and lots of additional therapy at home with her mother.

Girlboxing sends lots of love Ishika’s way with the sure knowledge that she is being remembered in a lot of prayers.


Women’s Boxer Ishika Lay recovers after coma (Florida Times Union.com)

Second Impact Syndrome (Good overview from sportsmd.com )

Second Impact Syndrome (National Institute of Health)

Getting them to the gym early

Getting them to the gym early

I live in a two-boxer family and if I count the young-one, we’re coming on three boxers.  As the trainers down at Gleason’s are happy to remind us, my daughter was practically born in the gym.  There are many stories told of how she was passed from one lap to another while my husband or I trained.  Her comfort today is telling every time she walks into the gym.  She’s got folks to say hello to,  her trainer, John “Superman” Douglas to fist-bump, and a general feeling of ease as she watches us workout or works out herself.

When it comes to kids in the gym, I always advise parents that there is no place finer to introduce a child not only to the intricacies of the sweet science, but to the rarified world of camaraderie, focus and importantly, people’s dreams.  A boxing gym provides children with a place where they can experience people working very, very hard to achieve complex goals that range from personal fitness to readying for professional bouts.

The boxing gym is also a place where children can learn great physical skills, confidence and a work ethic that will carry them across a lifetime — and this without ever really needing to fight in a bout.  The boxing work out alone with a skilled trainer or in a group class will provide kids with the chance to develop prowess in the boxing repertoire and for those parents who might object to their kids sparring, pad work and shadow boxing can simulate some of the movements of the ring.  Girls especially get a lot out of boxing training — not the least of which is learning how to physically defend themselves.

There’s also something else that happens in a boxing gym: a chance for people from all walks of life to interact and communicate.  In the over-scheduled world of contemporary child rearing, that sort of experience is invaluable as is the “drift” time that happens as you wait your turn.

For more information on children’s boxing programs, parents can contact their local PAL organizations. Many boxing gyms also provide opportunities for training children individually or in groups.  You can also contact Girlboxing and we’ll be happy to pass on what information we have.