Part one of Beyond the Action, Bishop Ryan freshman Merrick McMahon found a passion for wrestling but suffered a subderal hematoma that could potentially end his wrestling career. In part two, we find out how this injury could prevent him from fulfilling a promise to his brother that passed away and the choices he now faces.
A mother's love for her children is one of a kind, so Michelle's reaction to a call from head wrestling coach, Chase Lee, regarding her son came as a shock.
"He said Cassie the trainer said to call the ambulance," recounted Michelle McMahon, Merrick's mother, "and I said, 'why? Is it that bad? Is he unconscious?' And he said yes. At that point I put my flashers on my car and naturally hit every red light in Minot."
The injury could have ended his life. Flash back to last October, and it was Merrick's brother who's life hung in the balance... But lost the battle.
"He was our older son's friend.," said Michelle. "He lived with us for four years. He was like his brother. He lived here. He was here every day except when he was in grand Forks or at the hospital."
His name was John Yeager and he passed away last year, but not before leaving an imprint on his family.
"He was a brother to him," said Michelle. "They would talk, they would play video games. He would tell things to John he wouldn't tell to the rest of us. In fact, it was John who he told he was getting picked on at school."
"You see that Mox Strong sticker right up there?" asked Merrick. "We took him in about 4 years ago and before he died, I promised him I'd win state for him. That's been one of my motivations to keep on wrestling."
The choice to continue playing the sport he loves and fulfill his promise or retire from the mat for his health lays in the balance.
"The second time," said Merrick. "If it happens a second time, it could kill me. I'm just not sure"
"I guess I don't what will happen," said Michelle. "I don't know what the future holds."
No matter what Merrick's doctor says and whatever the final decision is, the straight-A student needs to know one thing:
"If he can't do it," said Michelle, "he needs to know that his survival makes him a hero anyway to John. I truly believe John was being a guardian angel at that time."
Merrick meets with doctors later this year, but continues to work hard in the classroom.