Posted: Friday, 10 May 2013 1:29PM

Lebanon tennis player returns 9 days after losing vision in left eye

Springfield, Mo. (  -- Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player

Life changed forever for Lebanon senior Jordan Anderson Wednesday, May 1 on a Springfield tennis court.

"I just lost vision in my left eye. It was like a sunspot. It didn't go away for about 30 minutes and then it went from really blurry to black," Anderson said.

He was taken to a hospital and later an ophthalmologist where he was given devastating news.

"He told me I had a central retinal artery occlusion, a stroke in my eye," Anderson said. "I am blind in my left eye for life."

Anderson’s high school tennis career appeared to be over as focus shifted to the cause of the stroke and his overall health.

"After I got done at the ophthalmologist, I called coach (Ron) Crowell and told him that my season was over and it was good playing for him," Anderson said.

The Lebanon senior tried to keep things as normal as possible while doctors did tests to make sure everything was ok with Anderson’s heart and body. The support he received from his teammates and the Lebanon community provided an emotional buoy for Anderson during his tough time.

"It was nuts (the support) on social media," Anderson said. "People are supporting me. It is really hard to be sad when you have so many people backing you and caring about you."

Doctors determined that everything else was ok with Anderson, which led him to make a request of Crowell that just days before seemed little more than a pipe dream.

"He came up and said 'Coach, I want to play at districts on Friday' and I said absolutely yes. Let's do it," Crowell said.

Anderson took the court in the district singles tournament Friday morning just nine days after becoming permanently blind in his left eye.

"I didn't think he was going to play this season again," teammate Isaac Gillen said. "He told us he probably wasn't going to play tennis for the rest of summer because he couldn't see. When Coach Crowell told us that he was going to be playing I couldn't believe it. I thought he was just kidding."

The match did not go as Anderson would have liked with a straight-set loss. The adjustment to playing with just one eye so soon after losing vision proved tough.

"It is not the same and it is never going to be the same," Anderson said. "I did well for losing my eye a week ago. I lost a lot of the depth perception"

"In all my years of coaching I think it is the neatest thing I have seen for him to be able to come back after that," Crowell said. "He has been so courageous and his character has been so awesome."

That character shines through brightest by the positive attitude Anderson has adopted despite the unfortunate circumstance.

"I was really upset because there is nothing you can do about and nothing you can change," Anderson said. "I figure the quicker you get over that the quicker you get to healing."

Filed Under :  
Topics : LebanonMen's Tennis
People : Isaac GillenJordan Anderson
Photo Galleries

Pictures: Ava 9, Mt. Grove 8

Ava won the battle of SCA unbeatens with a walk-off sac fly.

Pictures: Southwest 10, Purdy 8

Southwest claims the Ozark 7 championship.

Pictures: Central vs. Glendale tennis

The Falcons and Bulldogs met at Cooper on Wednesday.
O-Zone Opinion
10 improved and surprise spring sports teams
In honor of giving spring its fair due, we take time out like we did in basketball season to highlight the spring's most improved/surprise/overachieving/under-the-radar/whatever-you-wanna-call-it teams. As a general rule, this list won't include...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Breaking down the new boys basketball districts
It's that time again… Every two years MSHSAA reshuffles classes and districts, unintentionally and yet effectively changing the landscape of the sport and this spring was no different. Here are the changes you will want to note for the boys...
Read More
Making sense of the new girls basketball districts
Who do you have going all the way in your bracket? Your 2014-15 high school district basketball bracket, that is. Last weekend, MSHSAA released classification and district assignments for the next two school years. We saw notable changes in most...
Read More
Most Viewed