Klinefelter recovering after burst blood vessel

BY JON FRANK | FEBRUARY 08, 2011 7:10 AM

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Emily Klinefelter suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain during her most recent fight.

Christina Ruiz — the woman who knocked Klinefelter out during a Feb. 5 match — spoke to Klinefelter’s mother, Cynthia Parsons, Sunday. Parsons told Ruiz her daughter was admitted into surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to release brain pressure on the evening of Feb. 5.

Parsons did not return a voice mail left Monday afternoon.

Klinefelter’s husband and trainer Adam Pollack said in an e-mail message Sunday that she was “doing well.” He also said, “The doctors feel that there is a high probability of a strong recovery.”

Pollack did not return voice mails left Sunday and Monday.

Parsons also told Ruiz that her daughter’s recovery process was going well.

A burst blood vessel can result in a variety of neurological symptoms ranging from dizziness, concentration difficulties, or depression to memory loss, paralysis, or loss of speech depending on the location and severity of the injury, said Dr. Joshua Kuluva, a neurologist in Berkeley, Calif.

Ruiz said that Klinefelter’s injury reminded her of a fellow San Antonio fighter, Oscar Diez, who suffered a similar injury during his career.

“[Officials] didn’t stop the fight,” Ruiz, 25, said. “He’s a vegetable now.”

Ruiz explained that Klinefelter’s condition seemed to be much less damaging than that of Diez’s.

“It could happen to anybody,” said Emilio Ledezma, who trains Ruiz. He said he stood ringside as Diez went into a coma. “One good shot could ruin your life.”

Ledezma said Klinefelter’s injury was nearly identical to Diez’s. The defeat was the first of Klinefelter’s career. She had entered the bout 9-0 with three knockouts.

“[Klinefelter] was fighting out of pure heart,” he said. “I knew it was just a matter of time [before she fell].”

The fight that preceded Klinefelter’s hospital admittance lasted nearly three full rounds. After a favorable first round for the Iowa City native, Ruiz knocked Klinefelter down twice in a lopsided second frame. Despite suffering a heavy amount of damage, the 122-pound fighter rose to her feet and fired back against her opponent.

In the third round, both fighters slowed their pace and Ruiz eventually knocked Klinefelter to the canvas after an aggressive flurry of punches.

Klinefelter was unresponsive to the referee’s 10 count. She did not respond to fanning, yelling, or shaking, either.

After approximately 30 minutes of unsuccessful attempts to revive the brawler, paramedics arrived and placed the fallen fighter on a stretcher where she was transported into the back of an ambulance.

“I tell my fighters there are good wins and bad wins,” said Ledezma, who has more than 15 years of experience as a boxing trainer. “What can you learn from this?”

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