This is wonderful, amazing, incredible news!!!!!!
Kevin Everett might walk again after all.
The doctor who performed the spinal surgery on Everett told Buffalo TV station WIVB on Tuesday that Everett has voluntary movement of his arms and legs and as a result he is optimistic that Everett will walk again.
Dr. Andrew Cappuccino told WIVB that Everett's sedation levels were lowered on Tuesday, allowing him to respond to verbal commands. WIVB also reported that Everett's latest MRI shows only a small amount of swelling on his spinal cord.
Dr. Barth Green, chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Miami school of medicine, agrees with the prognosis.
"Based on our experience, the fact that he's moving so well, so early after such a catastrophic injury means he will walk again," Greene told The Associated Press by telephone from Miami.
"It's totally spectacular, totally unexpected," Green said.
Green said he's been consulting with doctors in Buffalo since Everett sustained a life-threatening spinal cord injury Sunday after ducking his head while tackling the Denver Broncos' Domenik Hixon during the second-half kickoff of the Bills' season opener.
Everett dropped face-first to the ground after his helmet hit Hixon high on the left shoulder and side of the helmet.
Asked whether Everett will have a chance to fully recover, Green said: "It's feasible, but it's not 100 percent predictable at this time. ... But it's feasible he could lead a normal life."
On Monday, Cappuccino said that Everett sustained a "catastrophic" and life-threatening spinal-cord injury and was unlikely to walk again.
"A best-case scenario is full recovery, but not likely," Cappuccino said Monday. "I believe there will be some permanent neurologic deficit."
Bills owner Ralph Wilson said the team has been in contact from the beginning with Green and the Miami Project, the university's neurological center that specializes in spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
Everett's agent, Brian Overstreet, also said Everett's mother, Patricia Dugas, told him the player moved his arms and legs when awakened from a deeply sedated sleep.
"I don't know if I would call it a miracle. I would call it a spectacular example of what people can do," Green said. "To me, it's like putting the first man on the moon or splitting the atom. We've shown that if the right treatment is given to people who have a catastrophic injury that they could walk away from it."
Green said the key was the quick action taken by Cappuccino to run an ice-cold saline solution through Everett's system that put the player in a hypothermic state. Doctors at the Miami Project have demonstrated in their laboratories that such action significantly decreases the damage to the spinal cord due to swelling and movement.
"We've been doing a protocol on humans and having similar experiences for many months now," Green said. "But this is the first time I'm aware of that the doctor was with the patient when he was injured and the hypothermia was started within minutes of the injury. We know the earlier it's started, the better."
Everett remains in intensive care and will be slowly taken off sedation and have his body temperature warmed over the next day, Green said. Doctors will also take the player off a respirator.