A high school football player in Kansas City is recovering from a broken vertebra in his neck, and his family is questioning how his injury was handled.
As Kansas City’s WDAF-TV reports, Center High was taking on William Chrisman (Independence, Mo.) in a jamboree featuring multiple schools on August 17th when Lorenzo Hughes went to make a tackle.
Hughes, 16, told WDAF that as soon as his neck crunched, he felt tingling in his extremities. His family said that trainers told them he’d suffered a “stinger.”
“She’s like, ‘ice and heat,’ so we followed her directions, trusting that she was the trainer on this team, a medically trained person,” Lorenzo’s mother, Amber Hughes, told WDAF.
Lorenzo Hughes said he was mocked by coaches for complaining about his pain. After he was unable to open a door even four days later, he asked his coach if he could sit out. It was at that point, the family said, that they got X-rays. Those revealed that Hughes had a closed fracture of his sixth cervical vertebrae.
Per WDAF, doctors took bone from his hip and fused it to his neck with a titanium plate and three screws.
Attorney Henry C. Service told WDAF that he believes the team’s coaches and trainers were negligent.
“his is a child, a child with a literal broken neck, and he’s asking all the people charged with taking care of him for help and he’s told, ‘Go f*** yourself,’ “ Service said.
Center School District released the following statement that WDAF obtained:
“We are thinking about our student and his family and hopeful for a healthy recovery,” the statement reads. “While we can’t say anything specific about the incident, we can tell you we consider all student injuries serious. When presented, we address them and investigate them to the fullest. We can share that Center School District provides an on-site licensed athletic trainer for every football practice and scheduled game. We are looking at the situation and want to know what happened. Meanwhile, we are offering to provide as many resources as we can.”