Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The road to recovery for a footballer
I put miracle in quotes for a reason. As we investigated a little deeper, we found that Kevin Everett in fact suffered something known as a central cord syndrome. It's important to distinguish this from the types of spinal cord injury where people never walk again. This is the type of injury in which the central-most fibers of the spinal cord are damaged, but the rest of the spinal cord is intact. From some studies, we know patients under the age of 50 all recovered from central cord injury to the point of being able to walk. For patients between ages 50 and 70, the likelihood of walking was 69 percent (Full Report). So, in fact while Everett's recovery is terrific news for everyone, especially Kevin, it probably should not be considered a miracle or a result of super-cooling the spinal cord. It could be considered an expected part of his recovery.
There is no doubt Everett that still has a long road in front of him. Rehabilitation will be the name of the game. His hands will likely be most affected in the long run, and it is hard to say if he will recover to the point of running or playing football. But, Kevin, you have science on your side, which in this case is even better than a miracle. Please note, we've been in touch with the Buffalo Bills and Everett's doctors but they have declined our repeated requests for interviews.
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