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Parents Of Michigan QB Wilton Speight Say Purdue Medical Treatment Was “Absolute Trainwreck”
According to the parents of Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, the athletic department at Purdue is not at all prepared to deal with serious injuries that may occur on the football field.
Last month Speight fractured three vertebrae during a 28-10 win at Purdue. In an article published in the Detroit News on Thursday, parents Bobby and Martha Speight say the medical treatment their son received at the school was an “absolute trainwreck.”
The issues started almost immediately after the injury:
“Wilton gets hit and didn’t move for a little while, which is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Bobby Speight said. “The police took us down but were unable to open the door. Someone who appeared to be a member of the food staff realized what was going on and let us in. When that door opened, even in high school I had never been in a visiting locker room that bad. It was dark, dingy, dirty.”
It gets way worse than a dirty locker room, though. NCAA football programs are supposed to have x-ray facilities onsite. However, Purdue only claims to have “basic x-ray” available within the “athletic footprint,” which sure sounds like a they’re getting by on a technicality.
In Speight’s case, his parents and Michigan team doctors were told he couldn’t get x-rays at the stadium. But instead of taking him straight to the hospital at that point, they took him to the Purdue student medical center. But not by ambulance. With three fractured vertibrae, Speight had to sit in the front seat of a van, driven by a student, with no police escort:
Michigan and Michigan State have full X-ray capabilities at their stadiums, and they also provide police escorts if a player needs to be transported to and from the hospital. It’s not clear why Speight wasn’t transported directly to a hospital by ambulance.
Instead, Wilton sat in the front seat of a van provided by Purdue and driven by a student. The Speights, two medical trainers, a doctor and Thai Trinh, an orthopedic sports medicine fellow at Michigan, piled into a van to be transported to the student health clinic, about two blocks from the stadium.
“We take off with no escort,” Bobby Speight said. “We can’t get through because there are barricades up and (the van driver is) directing people to move them.”
Upon arriving at the student medical center, they made Speight provide proof of insurance, which of course is ridiculous since he still had his uniform on, and all student-athletes are obviously covered. All this did was delay things further.
Then, when he finally got into the x-ray room, a technical issue made it impossible for the doctors to examine the images in high definition. So they decided it was time to go to the hospital.
Next problem? All the EMS units were out on other calls, so they had to call in a volunteer unit. And apparently the volunteer unit was not in the mood. They told the Michigan doctors the trip would take 30 to 45 minutes, then gave the doctors attitude when they asked to speed things up a bit:
“Our doctor asked him, ‘Couldn’t we please turn on the siren and make better time?’ And (the rescue squad member) said, ‘Don’t you get smart with me. You said this is a non-vital trip.’ Our doctor said, ‘I don’t care what I told you, this boy has tingling in his legs. Turn the siren on and go.’”
This is an absolute disgrace. The Purdue board of trustees might want to look into all this before some kid winds up paralyzed.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]