St. Paul ballet dancer seriously injured in hit-and-run

A professional ballet dancer from St. Paul was hospitalized with serious injuries after a hit-and-run in Rhode Island last weekend.

28-year-old Jordan Nelson suffered broken bones and a fractured skull when he was thrown off his bicycle, leaving his future on the stage uncertain.

Police are still searching for the driver who nearly killed Nelson in the accident.

Nelson’s mother, Danette Malerich, spoke with Fox 9’s Paul Blume on Thursday about Nelson’s condition, and his love for dance.

“Watching my son dance is phenomenal,” said Malerich. “He has the ability to mesh himself with the flow of the music.”

Nelson’s family hopes that the strength and commitment that brought him to the stage will help him recover from his injuries.

“His body will be ready to dance,” said Malerich. “As for the head injury, it’s going to take a long time. The doctors don’t know.”

Nelson suffered a fractured skull, broken bones, and bleeding on the brain. As of Thursday, he regained consciousness, but in a lot of pain, and does not remember the crash.

Doctors said Nelson will eventually require rehabilitation care after his hospitalization.

“He has severe, debilitating headaches right now,” said his mother. “There are chances of memory loss. There are lots of obstacles.”

Nelson’s family and fellow dancers are trying to raise money for his medical needs with a GoFundMe page. The page has already raised more than $12,000.00.

Those Nelson worked with in St. Paul remembered him as a joy to work with at the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. It was in this school community where he fell in love with ballet more than a decade ago.

“I mostly remember him as a very sweet, kind-hearted, sensitive, smart young man,” said Brian Goronson, from the conservatory. “There’s a ton of support [for Nelson]. The alumni base here is really supportive. He was beloved, so a lot of well wishes are headed his way.”

Nelson is scheduled to undergo surgery on his shattered clavicle on Friday.