Rutger’s defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (Class of 2008 scholar) has been paralyzed from the neck down after making a violent tackle at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday.
He was motionless for seven minutes while medical staff immobilised his neck and placed him on a backboard. He was taken to Hackensack University Medical Hospital where doctors performed emergency surgery to stabilise his spine.
He is now understood to be in intensive care and his condition is stable. He will remain at Hackensack for the immediate future until further recovery, according to a statement released by Rutgers athletics department.
His family have also responded to well wishers, saying, “We want to say thank you to everyone for all your prayers, kind words and well wishes. We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we’re praying for a full recovery.”
A teary eyed Greg Schiano, LeGrand’s coach told the press, “Eric’s spirits were as good as you can expect. He was cognizant of me being there, his mom, everybody.”
Schiano, who visited LeGrand both before and after surgery, added, “He’s a fighter.”
The coach spoke to the rest of Eric LeGrand’s team mates after the game and said, “As I talked to our team, we’re just going to believe that Eric LeGrand is going to walk onto that field again with us. That’s what we believe. We’ll see with the speed of which that happens.”
Possible causes for paralysis are neck fracture or spinal cord damage caused by a combination of cervical dislocation and a fracture. No word has been given on the specifics of the injury yet but check back for further developments.
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