Family of WSSU football player seriously injured in practice releases statement

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The family of a Winston-Salem State University football player who was seriously injured during practice last week has released a statement.

Charlotte freshman Marquise Gaddy had been listed in serious, but stable condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as of Thursday. He was hospitalized after suffering a serious injury during practice Wednesday.

Gaddy sustained a spinal injury around 4 p.m. and was rushed to the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.

His family issued a statement saying they are thanking for the community’s support and are confident he will recover and become stronger than ever.

The full statement is as follows:

The Gaddy family would like to extend our warmest thanks and gratitude to the Wake Forest Baptist Hospital staff, WSSU administration, coaches and players, Mallard Creek High School and a host of wonderful friends and family, both near and far.

On Wednesday, 9/23, our son, Marquise Gaddy suffered a severe neck and spinal injury after colliding with a team mate during football practice.  This collision caused immediate unconsciousness, paralysis, an inability to talk or breathe.  The actions of the WSSU athletic trainers were quick and deliberate and he was immediately rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.  He had an athletic trainer by his side the entire time and this trainer provided minute-by-minute updates as we made our way there.  At this time, Marquise had movement in his lower extremities, albeit weak, and very limited and weak range of motion and movement in his upper extremities.

We arrived around 7pm and the CT scan had been performed.  Dr. Ferguson, the team physician, confirmed Marquise sustained two C1 fractures, one C2 fracture where the peg was broken and bruising to his spinal cord.  At this time, surgery was a serious possibility, but we wouldn’t know for sure until the MRI was completed.  Upon completion of the MRI, it was determined surgery was not needed, but a halo would be required to stabilize the neck.

Marquise was placed in ICU and on Thursday, 9/24, he received the halo. While he continues to have movement in his legs and upper right extremity, he still does not have much movement in the left. He’s under heavy sedation to alleviate the pain from his neck and head; however he remains positive, upbeat and determined.

On Friday, 9/25, Physical Therapy was performed and Marquise was able to sit on the edge of the bed and stand upright two separate times, with assistance.

Our faith has truly sustained us during this difficult time and we’ve been encouraged and strengthened by the kind words, concerns, thoughts, prayers, love and support of everyone.  Finally, we’re confident Marquise will fully recover from this and become even stronger.

We ask that you to continue to respect the privacy of our son and our family and friends.

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