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Doctors say Everett could walk soon

September 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kevin Everett will be transferred this morning to a Houston hospital to begin the next phase of his rehabilitation, less than two weeks after the Buffalo Bills tight end sustained a life-threatening spinal cord injury.

And doctors said Thursday they believe he will be walking within weeks -- perhaps sooner.

"Soon . . . they're going to stand him up," Dr. Barth Green told the Associated Press, shortly after discussing Everett's condition with Bills orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Cappuccino. "They're very confident he'll be walking very soon . . . in the next days or weeks, not months."

Eric Armstead, a partner of Everett's agent Brian Overstreet, said Everett was going to Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital and would be traveling by private plane.

"I talked to him today, and he's very excited," Armstead said.

The prognosis is remarkable after Everett arrived at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital paralyzed from the neck down after being hurt while making a tackle in Buffalo's season opener against Denver on Sept. 9. Doctors initially expressed fears Everett would never walk again.

Green is chairman of the neurological surgery department at the University of Miami school of medicine and has received regular updates from Everett's doctors on the player's progress.

"Now that doesn't mean he'll be walking normally, but standing up and holding his own weight," Green said. "I think the future for him is very bright."

"He's strong, you all, I'm telling you he's strong," Everett's mother, Patricia Dugas, said. "Kevin's going to get up walking and take care of his business like he always has. I don't think life is going to change that much."

Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said the team had no update on Everett's status.

Everett makes his off-season home in Houston, where many of his family members and friends live.

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