I read a statistic yesterday - 1 in 100,000 athletes will suffer a catastrophic spinal cord injury like the one Kevin Everett suffered last weekend. 1 in 100,000! And if I remember the article correctly, since 1977, less than 300 football players (starting at the high school level) suffered spinal injuries that resulted in some sort of paralysis. I read the statistics and a breathed a sigh of relief - the chances of this happening to Ryan are 1 in 100,000. The chances of this happening to Ryan are slim. I needed this info for me to come to terms with my husband's occupation, because the thought has crossed my mind numerous times this week - "is it worth it?" Just this morning I read an article in which Ryan was quoted as saying that it could've easily been him out there instead of Kevin. The thought of that is frightening.
But then I start thinking about that statistic even further - 1 in 100,000. Okay then - why Kevin? Why did this incredible, young, talented athlete with his whole career in front of him become a statistic? Why him? I don't know the answer and I doubt I ever will. As a Christian, I am taught to believe that God has a purpose for everything that happens - my faith requires me to trust that notion. And I do. What's clear to me is that God has a greater purpose for Kevin's life - he's going to have such an incredible impact on this world, more than he ever would have on the football field. As Kevin continues to make his miraculous recovery, he will change lives with his testimony. The thought of that gives me some peace.
Various media outlets are reporting that Kevin is now moving some of his fingers - his hands were the only extremities he didn't have any feeling in a couple of days ago. That young man arrived at the hospital Sunday a quadriplegic - he couldn't move or feel anything below his neck. Now, less than a week after his injury, he can feel almost every part of his body. An article I read this morning said the doctors can't really account for why he's doing so well - they attribute his recovery to a combination of things including modern medicine, etc. For those of us who have been praying for Kevin this week, we know exactly why this is happening. It's no mystery to us - God has clearly worked miracles.
Ryan's contract with the Bills is over at the end of the season. We don't know if the Bills have any plans on re-signing him at this point, so we may be moving on. But I will tell you this - I don't care where I am next year, but the day Kevin Everett walks back on to the football field at Ralph Wilson Stadium next year, I will be there.