When our children head onto a high school sports field or court, we don’t anticipate that they will sustain a catastrophic injury. However, many high school athletes suffer from traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, particular when they play contact sports like football or hockey. Last November, a Riverside County high school linebacker, Jordan Walker, suffered serious trauma to his spinal cord and neck that left him paralyzed. Walker was featured in a recent article in The Press-Enterprise because it looks as though he may be able to return home to continue rehabilitation in Southern California. Since the accident, the high school football player has been receiving treatment in Colorado.
Have you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury to the head or neck? Has your child suffered from a traumatic brain injury or a sports-related spinal cord injury? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. While each case is different, an experienced San Diego spinal injury lawyer can examine your case for you today.
High School Football Serious Injuries
How did Walker’s accident happen? During a routine high school football game on November 22, 2013, a running back from Upland High School had the ball and “plunged over players at the line of scrimmage,” where he collided with Walker. According to a coach who witnessed the accident, “Walker shot up for the tackle when he spotted the running back above him,” but “a split –second later, the other player landed on Walker’s head and their lives changed forever.”
The young linebacker suffered breaks of critical cervical vertebrae in his spinal column. While Walker remains able to use the muscles in his neck and can “feel from the chest up,” according to his father, he remains largely paralyzed from the dangerous sports accident. Despite being in rehabilitation for many months, he cannot move his arms, his hands, or his legs. Within the first month of his injury, Walker lost 65 pounds. Indeed, his weight dropped from 195 to 130. During that period, he remained in intensive care on a feeding tube.
The high school athlete has made some progress. After months of medical care, he is able to breath without a ventilator. He has even taken a couple of outings with his family. Yet he continues to require a tracheostomy tube, which is inserted in his throat to “suck his lungs clean because he hasn’t been strong enough to cough up secretions that would otherwise drown him.”
Walker’s family hopes that he’ll be able to return home to Southern California soon. His physicians have indicated that he may be able to return to Corona, California by the end of May, but the football player and his family will continue to contend with the very high emotional and financial costs of his spinal injury.
Spinal Cord Injury Costs
In addition to the extreme emotional and psychological costs of a spinal cord injury, these catastrophic injuries also involve very high financial costs. The first year of care alone is likely to total approximately $1,000,000. And those costs will only rise in the months and years to come.
When Walker returns home to Riverside County, his family will need to “replace living and dining room furniture to create more room for a wheelchair.” In addition, they’ll need to “buy a $70,000 van, a $40,000 wheelchair, and a $12,000 ceiling lift.”
Catastrophic injuries can drastically alter the life of an accident victim and his family. If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury or a spinal cord injury, contact an experienced California spinal cord injury attorney today.
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