Dr. Andrew Cappuccino, the surgeon who performed on Bills tight end Kevin Everett and Dr. Kevin Gibbons, the consulting neurosurgeon met with the media at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to discuss the status of the injured player.
After coming out of surgery, Everett could barely push his knees together. However, the doctors voluntarily put him in a drug protected state Monday due to a high temperature, and cooled him down with extra equipment. Tuesday, the doctors briefly brought him back to consciousness to perform some brief tests and found marked improvement. Wednesday morning, Everett was able to bring his knees up slightly, wiggle his toes, and slightly use his quadriceps. He flexed his triceps in his arms, but was not able to neither flex his biceps consistently nor use his hands at all.
Everett has been removed from the ventilator and is breathing on his own, which is a major step according to his doctors. Everett is attached to a feeding tube but is awake and starting to ask questions. He understands what is happening, and the road ahead to recovery.
And from BuffaloBills.com:
“He had clear improvement in the motor function of his legs,” said Dr. Gibbons the director of the neurological ICU at Millard Fillmore Gates hospital. “He was able to move his legs together and apart, wiggles his toes and had slight movement from his ankle. He was able to kick out his lower leg against gravity with his knee raised. He was able to slightly extend his elbow with his triceps muscle.”
With those signs of muscle movement the doctors decided to being warming Everett’s body to do further testing. It had been cooled during and following surgery to reduce swelling.
“The decision was made to begin warming him,” said Gibbons. “We did that over the next 12 hours. During the course of this time with the sedation lifted we were able to repetitively examine Kevin with continued anti-gravity power and continued movement in one muscle in his arms. This morning he continues to demonstrate improvement in his legs to the point where he can bend his hip and has the ability to straighten out his knee. He demonstrates continued power in his ankles. He has somewhat improved triceps function in that he can just overcome gravity with his left triceps. His biceps function seem to fluctuate. He has no movement in his hands.”
Everett’s condition was grouped into the second worst class of spinal cord injuries when he was initially assessed. Following the latest developments he’s almost met all the requirements to be upgraded to the next best class.
When asked if he will walk again Dr. Gibbons made it clear that it’s against the odds, but wouldn’t rule it out.
“I wouldn’t bet against it,” said Gibbons.
The Roost will continue to provide more updates on Everett’s condition as they become available. And for more coverage, be sure to check Bfloblog.com as well.