Monday, September 10, 2007

Unspeakable tragedy...

It is with great sadness that I write tonight. One of Ryan's teammates, Kevin Everett, was severely injured during the Bills' season opener against the Broncos. Kevin, a fellow tight end, was running down the field on a special teams play when he collided with the return guy. Kevin's body immediately went limp. He was motionless on the ground for minutes. After what seemed like an eternity, he was loaded onto an ambulance and rushed to a local hospital.

We've all seen this before - a player has a collision like this on the field and he gives the mandatory "thumbs-up" to let the crowd know he's okay as he's loaded into the ambulance. Kevin never gave the signal.

We now know that Kevin suffered a severe spinal cord fracture and dislocation. The injury is located in the 3rd and 4th vertebrae. He's currently in a medicine-induced coma to minimize any further trauma to his body. He's also on a respirator. From all reports by the attending medical staff today, the prognosis is bleak. Kevin's injury could still be lethal. Although Kevin showed some voluntary movement in his extremities, the doctors are certain there will be some paralysis. I'm sure you can imagine how devastating this must be to his family and friends. For us, it's hitting way too close to home.

I sat in the stands yesterday and listened to fans as they cussed and cursed at the Bills for having a less-than-stellar second half that eventually ended in defeat. All I could think about was Kevin. Here's a team that was expected to regroup after a major contributor on the team was carted away in an ambulance, and people booed. To say I was floored is an understatement. I think people forget that it's a game. These are young guys who put their lives on the line every single time they go on that field in the name of entertainment. It's fascinating when you look at it like that.

Life is so much more precious than a check mark in the "W" column. I've done a lot of crying and soul searching over the past couple of days. Kevin Everett - tight end and special teams standout for the Buffalo Bills. Kevin Everett - paralyzed? That could've been my husband out there. That could've been Ryan. The reality of that in and of itself is, well, paralyzing. I just had to hold onto him a little bit longer last night - I held him a little tighter. I thank God it wasn't us, but it doesn't take away the indescribable pain we're all feeling right now. Please keep Kevin, his family and friends in your prayers.

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