Huge victory

Miraculous recovery

December 25, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

Kevin Everett, the Buffalo Bills tight end who suffered that frightening spine injury in the first game of the season against the Denver Broncos, was back Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, where he walked into the locker room.

Remember, Everett's chances to ever walk again appeared to be almost zero in the first hours after his injury. He had been hurt making a tackle on a kickoff against the Broncos' Domenik Hixon during a game in Buffalo. In fact, for a while, there was concern Everett might not even survive, and the doctor who performed the surgery to repair the damage to his spine told the 25-year-old his prospects for a full recovery were bleak.

That the injured player was able to travel from Houston, where he has been rehabilitating, and meet and talk with his teammates and have a pre-game meal with them as he did Sunday is truly a miracle worthy of the season.

Of course, this miracle began almost the moment Everett was injured, as the medical personnel on hand started employing a state-of-the-art technique to lower Everett's body temperature and slow the damage being done to his system.

That was followed by a skillful surgery to reconstruct a portion of Everett's spine that required a bone graft, a plate, and a couple of rods and screws to hold it all in place. And then there has been the hard work in rehabilitation that it has obviously taken for Everett to get to this point.

As Everett watched the game from owner Ralph Wilson's suite, the Bills got off to a quick start against the New York Giants. But the Giants, fighting for a playoff spot, rallied to win, 38-21.

Though a Buffalo triumph would have been a nice Christmas present for Everett, his own victory - being able to walk into the locker room - looms larger than any numbers on a scoreboard.

And regardless of who lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February, it's fair to say Kevin Everett can be considered the biggest winner of this NFL season.

Happiest holidays to all.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

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