ESPN ran a great Tom Rinaldi-narrated piece on Sunday featuring Raiders first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden‘s journey from the brink of death last November to the NFL.
Hayden ripped a crucial vein in his chest that leads directly his heart after accidentally taking a knee to his chest in practice. The injury has a 95 percent fatality rate. Doctors immediately operated on Hayden with him “minutes away from dying.” Life or death depended on reattaching the vein. To get an idea of difficult the procedure was, here’s the takeaway quote: “Surgeons equated it to sewing together wet pieces of tissue paper.”
Here’s the full feature: