Tulane University Football Player Suffers Spine Fracture on Field

Doctors say it's too soon to tell whether he will be paralyzed from the injury he suffered while making a tackle

 

 
 
 

The Virginian-Pilot | | Tuesday, September 11, 2012


TULSA, Okla. -- Tulane football player Devon Walker's fractured spine was stabilized in a three-hour surgery Sunday, though it's too soon to tell whether he will be paralyzed from the injury he suffered while making a tackle, the team's doctor said.

Dr. Greg Stewart, Tulane University's director of sports medicine, said Walker was in stable condition and was expected to stay in the intensive care until of St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa for the next few days.

"These kind of injuries take 24, 48, sometimes 72 hours to fully declare themselves," Stewart said before the surgery. "We don't know what the long-term implications and outcomes are going to be."

Stewart said he was with Walker on the field, in the ambulance and at the hospital on Saturday. He said Walker was put into a cervical collar and couldn't see much of what was happening, so Stewart explained what was going on. Walker was talking with doctors as he was being treated, Stewart said.

Walker's parents had traveled to Oklahoma to be with their son, and they were "doing as well as can be expected," Stewart said.

"They're like the rest of us - hopeful and prayerful."

Stewart was back in New Orleans on Sunday, as were Walker's teammates. He said Tulane's athletic director and the football team's trainer remained in Oklahoma with Walker.

Walker's injury occurred on the final play of the first half, hours after Tulane opened the Conference USA portion of its schedule against Tulsa. Tulsa led 35-3 and faced a fourth-and-2 with the ball at the 33-yard line. Tulsa quarterback Cody Green tossed a short pass to Willie Carter, who caught it at about the 28 and turned upfield. He was tackled around the 17-yard line, with defensive tackle Julius Warmsley and Walker sandwiching him and apparently smashing their helmets together.

Medical personnel from both teams tended to Walker as he lay on the field. Spectators bowed their heads as someone on the field led the stadium in prayer.

Dr. Buddy Savoie said during a postgame news conference that Walker never completely lost consciousness and was breathing on his own.

"He was stable when we transported him," Savoie said. "I do not think, based on the information we have, his life was ever in danger."

Walker is a senior majoring in cell and molecular biology. His brother, Raynard, told The Associated Press on Saturday that their mother was watching the game on television when her son was injured.

Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said after the 45-10 loss

the mood among players was somber and called the day his most difficult ever.

"It was tremendous that they finished the game," he said. "I thought about just saying 'Hey look, let's not do anything else. Let's just get on the road and go.' "
Devon Walker remains in intensive care after surgery on Sunday.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, spine fracture

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Baltimore Man Rescued from Building Collapse

Rowhouse collapse traps a worker in the basement area.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

A Night with Wisconsin’s Busiest Medic Unit

Ride along one night with the paramedics of MED 5.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Dies in West Virginia Ambulance Rollover

Marion County Rescue Squad crew is injured in collision.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rescue Volunteers in Syria

White Helmets group at work during fighting.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Boulder Pins Colorado Hiker

Wilderness EMS team frees trapped hiker.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

North Dakota Oilfield Medics

Tactics used in offshore platforms tailored to the remote areas.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >