A volleyball player’s worst nightmare


Marianne Aguilar

Arriving at Kaiser Permanente minutes after injuring her wrist, while washing dishes in her home, Jenise Cubas, 12, is checked out and stitched up on Aug. 21. “At the moment I didn’t feel pain, but when the paramedics came I started blacking out a bit,” Cubas said.

Sara Cabrera, Writer/ Copy Editor

Volleyball player Jennise Cubas, 12, could not take advantage of ending her last summer in high school in the best way possible, because the morning of July 18, she was severely injured, causing her to get 3 layers of stitching in her arm.

While washing dishes, Cubas reached over attempting to set a glass into the dish rack when it slipped out of her hand, bouncing off the counter, and slicing her wrist to the bone. Cubas saw the deep cut dripping blood, held her wrist and calmly walked over to her mother, Maria Cubas.

“I was in the bathroom getting ready, and when she walked in and I could see her tendon. I could see everything, and I knew it was time to call 911,” Maria Cubas said. “It happened so fast I didn’t really have time to react. I knew what I had to do which was call 911, stop the bleeding, and throw up later.”

Though her sister securely wrapped her wrist, when the ambulance arrived Cubas slowly began to lose consciousness.

“When I heard them [ambulance] my eyes started blacking out. It looked like a TV screen and my ears started getting really hot,” Cubas said. “In the back of my mind I was thinking ‘oh my gosh I’m dying. This is it.’”

When the paramedic inspected Cubas’s arm, he was shocked she was so calm. He shared that he has seen similar accidents and that the patients are usually hysterical. After seeing the severity of the cut, it was the paramedic’s responsibility to inspect the area the injury took place in to ensure it was not a suicide attempt.

Due to the nerves in her arm being cut and her wrist being so tightly wrapped, Cubas did not experience pain until she arrived at the hospital, before getting stiches, when the doctor inserted her finger in the gash, verifying that there was no broken glass in the wound. She felt the most pain when the doctor began to stich up her arm realizing she had not numbed the whole wound before doing so.

Visiting Reno, Cassie Grana was worried about her friend’s condition, disappointed she could be at the hospital to support Cubas.

“I first saw it when Jennies posted a picture on Instagram and told me to look at it,” Cassie Grana, 12, said. “It was probably one of the most disgusting things I’ve seen. Its kind of scary to think that it was so close to her vein.”

A few days after the incident, Cubas was bothered by a lump beginning to form on her wrist. Believing it was part of the healing process or the tissue being placed back wrong, she waited two months until getting it checked out. While going back for another doctor’s visit, she discovered that the tendons that were cut in her wrist began to grow into the muscle causing it flare up. The doctors said a surgery was not essential, but without it the pain would only escalate. They gave Cubas the weekend to make her decision.

“I couldn’t really think about now. I couldn’t really think about how the scar is going to look ugly, nobody is going to want to date me, nothing like that,” Cubas said. “I had to think about my future. What if my job includes carrying stuff or I need to use this arm for an emergency or what about when I have to carry my kids. My friends said ‘Well, the scar is going to look ugly’ I thought first of all the guy I marry is going to love me no matter what scar I have, and second of all I thought it would look like a pretty cool scar.”

Walking out of the doctor’s office, Cubas mind was already set on getting the surgery. Tuesday morning her parents called to schedule the appointment. They were informed Cubas would need to have the surgery the following day, because the doctor feared waiting any longer would cause the tendons to grow further into her muscle to the point where he wouldn’t be able to find the tendon.

“My parents kind of wanted to wait two weeks until the next available appointment and asked me if I was mentally prepared. I told them ‘No,’ but I wanted to get the surgery done the next day because I didn’t want to take any risk,” Cubas said. “I’m glad I didn’t wait because they didn’t have to cut as far as they said they would.”

After having 3 layers of stitching holding her tissue, tendons, and bottom layer of skin in place, Cubas has to wear a cast for a month. With an additional month of physical therapy she should regain total feeling in her hand.

Because of previously debating whether to participate in volleyball this year or not, she believes that this may be “God’s will” to sit out her senior year to have time to focus more on her school work. Cubas is planning on joining the volleyball team again during second semester.