D.C. United star Jaime Moreno was out golfing with friends at 1757 Golf Club in Virginia last week, and was ready to hit his approach shot into the sixth green.
His ball had landed near a cart path, but Moreno went ahead normally.
Almost instantly after he made contact with the ball, however, it ricocheted off the cart path and back into his face — drilling him in his left eye, causing blood to rush out of it.
Moreno underwent surgery later that night, suffering a broken nose, other orbital injuries and serious damage to his eyeball.
“When I spoke to them after surgery, they said there was a possibility I could lose my eye,” Moreno said, via The Washington Post. “We won’t know until my eye is completely open, and then we’ll see if I can get my vision back. It could take a couple months.”
Moreno spent 14 seasons with D.C. United, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in both games and minutes played, games started, goals scored, multi-goal games and winning goals scored. He helped lead D.C. United to four MLS Cups, too.
The seven-time All-Star is one of just two players in league history to score more than 100 career goals and assists, too.
The Bolivian also played in the 1994 World Cup in the United States, though failed to make it out of the group stage, and spent one season with Middlesbrough in the Premier League.
Moreno doesn’t have health insurance
To make the situation worse, Moreno doesn’t have health insurance.
After spending one night in the hospital, Moreno is now staying with his daughter at her home in Virginia. Friend and United fan group founder Oscar Zambrana Gutierrez helped launch a GoFundMe to help pay for his medical costs, and had raised nearly $25,000 as of Friday night.
“It makes you feel better knowing a lot of people care about you,” Moreno said, via The Washington Post. “Still, there is nothing I can do. I am hoping for the best. I am really thankful for these people that they’ve done all of this for me. It’s a tough time.”
Moreno had become a regular at the golf club in recent years, too, and said he had been playing nearly every day during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The injury, he said, was just a simple, unlucky mistake after going too fast.
“The ball was close to the path, and I should’ve dropped it,” he said, via The Washington Post. “I just hit it quickly, and then I realized I was bleeding. It’s something hard to believe happened. … In seconds, your life can change dramatically.
“I have a lot of prayers. That is the only thing I have now.”
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