The Road Back (Dec. 17) was a wonderful article about Kevin Everett's recovery from a horrible injury. Everett is an inspiration to many and truly represents the city of Buffalo when he states, "If you get knocked down, you've got to get back up." With Super Bowl losses, factories closing down and companies moving away, Buffalo has been getting knocked down for years but keeps getting back up.
Don Rindfuss, Jamesville, N.Y.
As the father of a high school football player, my greatest fear is that I might witness my son go down and stay down on the field of play. Parents across America can only hope for our own sons the kind of cutting-edge medical care administered to Everett in such a timely fashion. Dr. Andrew Cappuccino acted heroically: When he could have gone with the conventional treatment modality, he chose the more aggressive approach. In treating Everett as he would his own son, and in risking his reputation, he most surely was instrumental in Everett's walking today. The spinal-cord-injury refresher drill attended by Cappuccino should be mandatory for every physician walking the sideline on Friday nights.
Michael Loeffler, Lindsay, Calif.
As a medical professional I was pleased to see a story about the well-trained doctors and hospital staff providing optimal treatment and achieving good outcomes when given the proper resources. Of course, the most important part of this equation is Everett's never-give-up attitude. These types of patients make me want to go to work each day.
Amy Shugart, Arlington, Texas
As members of the medical team that performed surgery and cared for Kevin Everett, we awaited with great interest the article on Kevin's recovery. There are many differing opinions regarding the treatment of spinal cord injuries, which were fairly treated in Tim Layden's report.
However, the article states that a CoolGard catheter was placed in Kevin in the predawn hours of Monday, Sept. 10, his body temperature then lowered and a subsequent examination [that morning] revealed return of power in a dramatic fashion. This sequence of events is incorrect.
Hypothermia may have been an important factor, among many, in Kevin's rapid recovery. However, his dramatic recovery of movement began before the placement of the catheter and before effective cooling. The general public, the medical profession and, most importantly, those who suffer spinal cord injuries need the most accurate information regarding Kevin's dramatic recovery.
Kevin J. Gibbons, M.D.
Director, Neurosurgical ICU
Ken Snyder, M.D., Ph.D.
Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital
EDITOR'S NOTE: Everett's doctor, Andrew Cappuccino, acknowledges there was flicker movement in the adductor muscle group in both legs before the CoolGard catheter was inserted and states that after the CoolGard treatment Everett had movement in multiple muscle groups in both legs and arms.
Until the doctors who are criticizing Cappuccino for his aggressive treatment of Everett have lived in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic for 27 years, as I have, they should keep quiet about this great success story. I only wish this "monster" would have been around when I was injured.
Kirby Boyd, North Bend, Ore.