Fillette: A look back in time
Tout rikiki, fastoche, and the unexpected French word for "good luck" + my would-be 15 seconds of fame

Dazed in Reims: A boxing incident lands Max in ER

boxing ring in Reims France
The following sentence is from the French translation, just below. "Knockout (KO) is the term, in combat sports, for the action of putting out a fighter as a result of a blow carried by his adversary and making him temporarily lose his abilities (the person is called "stunned")."(photo, by Max, of his boxing ring in Reims) 

Today's word : sonné(e) 

  : stunned, dazed

Example Sentence by Wikipedia:

Le knockout (KO, de l'anglais to knock out, « faire sortir en frappant ») est le terme signifiant, dans les sports de combat, la mise hors de combat d'un combattant à la suite d'un coup porté par son adversaire et lui faisant perdre temporairement ses capacités (la personne est dite « sonnée »).


  by Kristi Espinasse 

When I was still in Denver, last week, and scrolling through Instagram, I noticed photo of my 23-year-old son. It was a picture of Max, from the knee down, on a hospital gurney. 

My first thought was, remain calm. If he's taken the photo himself then he's just fine! My second thought was, "just fine" can be a temporary state! 

Studying the social media photo I noticed an Instagram stamp identifying the name of the hospital in Reims, the town in which Max is completing an internship for Lanson. (Had he had another accident on the way to work? Jumping a guardrail, that first month, landed him at the ER for stitches.). A Google search, this time, put me one push-of-the-button closer to my son, as I hit the direct-connect number on the screen of my telephone.

It was the middle of the night in the Champagne region of France when the switchboard operator answered. "Je vais vous connecter avec les urgences," she said casually. 

Les urgences ?! My daughter, Jackie, who was with me in Denver, hurried over to the phone just as I was connected with the ER nurse, whose French was surreal to me... 

She was saying something about a box. What did a box have to do with my son being unable to talk to me on the phone? 

"Attendez," I said, you can talk to my daughter.. elle parle mieux le français."

A moment later, Jackie hung up the phone in time to assure me that Max was OK, that they were just going to keep an eye on him overnight, as well as do a brain scan.... 

By the time Jackie hung up the phone, I realized I'd missed my chance to talk to my firstborn. The nurse had said her patient was a little confused, and so had not offered me the possibility to communicate with him. Still, Max could have listened to my voice--which would have been a source of comfort and reassurance. It might have even snapped him out of this stupor! 

How good it felt to hear his voice, the next day, when newly discharged from ER he was able to tell us exactly what happened. I leave you now with Max's account, in French and in English, following a newspaper clipping about Max's great-grandfather AL Young, lightweight boxer and champion from Ogden, Utah... and hero to his French great-grandson, arrière-petit-fils, who he would never have the joy to meet. 


Max writes:

À la fin de mon entraînement de boxe, nous finissions la scéance avec un combat “light”. À la fin du round, Billal (19 ans) et moi, avons décidés de continuer à boxer au lieu de nous reposer, nous étions donc le centre d’attention des autres boxeurs.

À ce moment là, j’ai baissé ma garde et il en a profité pour me mettre un high kick jambe avant sur la mâchoire.

Je tombe par terre et mes potes me relèvent immédiatement.

À partir de ce moment là je n’ai fait que répéter les mêmes choses. “Qui m’a mis K.O?”, “où est-ce que j’habite”...

Et là, ils se sont rendu compte que quelque chose n’allais pas.

Dans la foulée, ils ont décidés de m’emmener aux urgences de Reims où j’ai été pris en charge immédiatement.

Durant ce prochain mois, je ne vais pas faire de confrontations afin de ne pas prendre de coups à la tête, je me concentrerais uniquement sur mon cardio en faisant de la course à pied et en travaillant mes techniques sur un sac de frappe.

Et quant au scanner, tout vas bien ! 

PS: je ne me souviens pas de ces événements, c’est mon coach qui me les a racontés.


At the end of boxing practice, we ended the session with a "light" fight. At the end of the round, Billal (19) and I decided to continue boxing instead of resting, therefore we were the center of attention of the other boxers.

At that moment, I lowered my guard and he took the opportunity to put a high leg kick on my front jaw.

I fell to the ground and my buddies got me back up immediately.

From that moment on, I kept repeating the same things: "Who knocked me out?", "Where do I live?" ...

And there, they realized that something was wrong.

In the confusion, they decided to take me to the emergency room in Reims where I was taken care of immediately.

This next month, I will not do any contact sports in order not to get hit in the head. I will focus only on cardio training by running and practicing my technique on a punch bag.

And as for the scanner, everything is fine!

PS: I do not remember these events, it was my coach who told them to me.

(picture  below, taken 7 years ago, when Max was starting out boxing.)

Boxing practice when we lived at the vineyard in Ste. Cécile-les-Vignes

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Catherine Berry (But you are in France, Madame)

They keep us worrying don't they ! But, they also have an amazing capacity to 'relativise'. Glad that things are back on track.

Audrey Wilson

Oh dear! How we Mum's suffer ! I'm so glad that all seems O.K Scanner et al & that Max has realised these sports can be dangerous .

Sarah LaBelle

Scary sort of PS, there. It is good he was with people who act, rather than wonder what to do. Yikes!

Kathleen from Connecticut

Boxing, just like football - it can be very dangerous. Concussions are something to worry about. Glad that he is OK and taking it easy with his exercises.


Diane Heinecke

Oh my! It's doubly upsetting to get news like this when you're on a trip. So glad Max is OK from the KO. As parents we need to entrust our kids (no matter what age) to the Lord. It's hard not to worry. They are our "kids" as long as we live. Bon courage, Kristin.

Gail L from AZ

Parenting lasts a lifetime!! I worry more about my adult children now than I did when they were little. I think it’s what ages me.


When my son was about Max’s age he sustained a serious cut on his arm (we’ll skip the poor judgement details of this incident). He called home the next day to say that he’d had surgery on his arm and was fine. This is when you know they’re adults, when they get into an emergency situation and handle it responsibly themselves - they no longer need your consent for medical treatment. Of course there was still quite a lot to be learned from this particular incident, which did have permanent mildly disabling consequences. Sigh ....
Glad Max is truly okay!


I’m so glad Max is ok, for him and for you!! It’s so good the people at the gym took it seriously and got him to the hospital!! Being a Mom never stops!! Take a big deep breath!!


Oh Boy, it never ends does it?(the Worries, that is) So glad Max is okay. Hang in there Mamma (-:

Suzanne Codi

Whew! So glad he's ok, and no concussion, always a big source of hard to be far away when things happen to our kids!( now adults, but still our kids...!!) Hang in there, Mom! xox

Nan O'Neal Campbell

I am so sorry about Max's boxing mishap and glad to know that he is alright. It was good seeing you again at Alliance Francaise de Denver. People are still talking about how much they enjoyed meeting you. Please come again when you're in Denver.

Janine cortell

I am so relieved that Max is O.K. Worrying about our kids is a life time commitment.


You probably can’t convince your son to give up a sport he loves. This is too bad because participants incontact sports like boxing, American football, rugby and even soccer (headers) have an extremely high incidence of dementia, Parkinsons disease, and other neurologic problems as they age. No matter what the “scan” showed (MRI? Catscan?), your son’s account of his symptoms demonstrate that he has suffered a serious concussion.

Information from reliable medical journals consistently prove that even head bumps that don’t result in concussions have neurologic consequences over time. I suggest you do a little internet research and show it to your son. I have a son of my own and I know he will never give up his high risk sports (surfing, biking) regardless of the data I show him. Nevertheless, you owe it to him and yourself to do this.


Our dear Kristi,
Thanking God that Max is okay,
and praying for his continued health and recovery.
A very wise decision on his
part,too,to avoid more contact sports.
Can only imagine your fright when you discovered these events!
What a blessing that Jackie was there to help on the phone.(in any crisis,I inevitably loose my
Such things make one doubly grateful(and more!) when all is well--and,hopefully,stays that way!
Natalia. Xo


Ou Vey! The umbilical cord may be cut at birth, but the connection is eternal! You are blessed that Max told you about his injury. It means he knows you love and care about him. This knowledge is the essence of every truly loving relationship. My compliments, Kristi, on your successful parenting.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,
Glad Max is OK! It's so hard when something happens to your children and you can't get to them quickly. My son is a Capt. in the Army and collapsed on a run in 90+ degree heat in July. He remembered finishing the run but doesn't remember how he got to the medics. When they took his temp it was 105 and he was incoherent.He still doesn't remember about 3 hours of that day. We were able to FaceTime with him in the German ICU the next day! I don't know how I kept calm but I was shaking inside.

Cheryl in STL

No matter how old they get, they always have ways of making us worry about them! But we love them anyway! And to be that far away makes it so much more difficult!

Bon courage!

Nicole Lepoutre-Baldocchi

I remember a call I got once at work from my son who was home with his friend Michael. The conversation started matter-of-factly with "Now Mom, I don't want you to panic. We've cleaned up all the blood and I don't think Michael needs stitches." To this day I don't remember how I got home so quickly. He was right though, Michael didn't need stitches and they had done a good job of cleaning up all the blood. Michael had just cut his finger on a piece of glass...


Oh no, poor Max! Kristi, how is he feeling now?

Kristin Espinasse

Hi, Katia. Max is doing great. Thanks. 🌞

Kathy Payne

Happy to hear that Max is doing well.

It was strange to read this and all of a sudden see Ogden, Utah pop up. It was a beautiful day today in Ogden - clear and 64F, plus a bit of badly needed rain this evening.

I don't know if you're interested, but a number of Ogden's newspapers have been digitized up through 1927 and are freely available. I did a quick search and turned up a number of sports articles. Most of them are just mentions of fights he participated in, but a couple seemed to be a bit longer. See below for how-tos.

Also, the Special Collections department of the library at Weber State University collects all sorts of things about local history. I sent them the link for this point - they were really interested. They'll look to see what they have on Al Young and might be able to suggest other places to look. Just email them at: [email protected]

To access the other articles:

1.Go to:
2. Click the Advanced Search Link under the search box (which is under a yellow icon that I think is a bee hive.)
3. The first box will say 'all of the words.' Change that to: 'Exact Phrase.'
4.In the search box, type Al Young.
5. Scroll past the rest of the search boxes until you get to 'Date Range.' 1927 is the most recent year. I arbitrarily chose 1915 as the start date, but if you know a better one, use it.
6. In the 'Newspaper' list, click to uncheck everything. Scroll down and check everything the starts with Ogden. If looks like most of them come from either the Ogden Daily Standard or the Ogden Standard Examiner, so you could start by limiting to those two. Looks like there are at least a couple of false positives, but most aare onh topic.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Kristin Espinasse

Hello Kathy,

This is so very thoughtful of you! Many thanks for this information. I have forwarded it to my family as well. Merci encore!

Kickboxing Gloves

The history of boxing is so beautiful. The article giving too much history about boxing and boxing was amazing back then.

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