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Houston corner out of hospital a week after near-fatal injury

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Thanks to the quick-thinking work of Houston’s medical staff, D.J. Hayden survived an injury incurred in practice last week so severe — and normally associated with high-speed car accidents — that it’s 95-percent fatal.

Nearly a week later, the cornerback is well on the road to recovery.

The Cougars confirmed Monday via a press release that Hayden has been released from Memorial Hermann Hospital Texas Trauma Institute, where he had been hospitalized since suffering the injury last Tuesday.  Hayden collided with a teammate during practice, resulting in the tearing of a major vein feeding the heart.

He underwent emergency surgery to repair the damage.

Specifically, the release read, Hayden suffered a tear in his inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart.  The fact that Hayden not only survived such a catastrophic injury but has exceeded expectations in his recovery has been a pleasant surprise to the physicians who have been treating the player.

“Looking at the whole course of events and the severity of the injury, D.J. has progressed remarkably well and is out a lot sooner than expected,” team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said. “He’s got a lot of healing left to do as the procedure to repair the inferior vena cava is much like a heart transplant.”

Lowe’s statement added that “[t]he sternum should take around three months to heal and D.J. is expected to be able to resume normal activities without contact in three-to-four months.”

There was no clear word on how the injury will or won’t impact his playing career.

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2 Responses to “Houston corner out of hospital a week after near-fatal injury”
  1. inconsonance says: Nov 13, 2012 3:02 PM

    To have incurred an injury that severe during football practice leads me to believe that he may have had a preexisting heart-related issue that had not yet surfaced. He’s very fortunate to have been near people with medical training. Had this occurred elsewhere, he’d be a goner.

  2. florida727 says: Nov 14, 2012 8:13 AM

    I’m sure after listening to the medical staff that treated him, DJ will realize how truly blessed he is just to be alive. I agree with “inconsonance” that he likely had some kind of pre-existing condition that may have contributed, but then again, that’s just speculation on both our parts. Bottom line though is that I’m hoping those close to him will advise him to walk away from the game. I’m no doctor, but the risks seem too great. Maybe he can get into coaching. I’d be willing to bet that if he’s a good kid that the Houston coaches really like, they’d help him and maybe even offer him a grad assistant type position when he finishes school. In any event, he’s getting his education for free, and if he takes advantage of that, he’ll be set for life. I know some guys that graduated from Houston; it’s a first rate school. Wish him a speedy recovery and all the best moving forward. JT, thanks for the follow-up article on this.

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