(INSIDE EDITION) After a freak accident during a game of basketball at a church, 16-year-old Noah Lear fought for his life for 18 days.
Friends and family showed they cared by including #NoahStrong on their Facebook posts, or uploading pictures to Snapchat with a black screen and a heartfelt caption.
Despite all their prayers, Noah Lear passed away on Wednesday.
On February 27, Lear went to play basketball with his friends at Calvary Baptist Church in Bucyrus, Ohio, like any other day.
"When he went to dunk the ball, the whole thing - post, backboard and rim - came down on him," his mom Melissa Griffin told Galion Inquirer.
According to Noah Lear's GoFundMe page, his two friends stayed calm and dialed 911, while another friend held his head upright so the blood would not run down his throat and choke him.
Lear was able to call his mom to ask her to meet him at the hospital.
"He said, 'Mom, I had an accident, I hurt my teeth,'" Griffin told the Telegraph-Forum. "I told him not to worry about his teeth."
She then raced to the hospital, not knowing what had happened. According to the Telegraph-Forum, she arrived before Noah did. She heard trauma calls as she waited for him to arrive, unsure exactly what had happened to him.
"I finally saw him and the bleeding was so bad and he just kept saying he was sorry," she said.
His mom said he went into cardiac arrest twice at the hospital, but his condition was stable enough to be moved to a larger children's hospital.
"At this point, I thought everything was going to be fine," she said.
The Telegraph-Forum reported that he was put in a medically induced coma, which was standard procedure for injuries as substantial as his.
He underwent multiple surgeries, and MRIs showed that his brain function was normal.
But his traumatic brain injury was worse than doctors had originally thought. He never woke up from the coma.
Lear's father, Tate Griffin, soon received news that oxygen was not reaching his brain, and the section of his brain that controlled his vital functions was no longer working, the Galion Inquirer reported.
After the Griffins called in multiple brain specialists to confirm the diagnosis, they transfered Lear to a hospice facility, until he passed away earlier today.
"He was just out being a good kid playing basketball with his friends," Griffin told the Telegraph-Forum.
In addition to their GoFundMe campaign, the Battle of the Lear Facebook page is announcing a T-shirt sales fundraiser where the money will go to supporting the Griffin family in their time of need. Friends and family will also be hosting a benefit in the begining of April in remembrance of Noah Lear.
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