Finally, a sliver of good news in a story that’s previously seen nothing but heartbreak.
Earlier this month, now-former Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson was arrested in connection to what was reportedly a vicious assault outside of a Mankato, Minn., bar. Nelson was ultimately charged with first- and third-degree assault in an incident that left the victim, former Div. II football player Isaac Kolstad (pictured), hospitalized and fighting for his life.
The family released a dire statement a week later, confirming that the 24-year-old Kolstad, who is married and has a young daughter, was on life support and had a portion of his brain removed after allegedly being kicked in the head repeatedly by Nelson and another male who is facing charges as well.
While Kolstad remains in a coma, his family wrote on a blog that updates the former Div. II football player’s progress, the swelling in his brain “has decreased even more and we are told by his physicians we are now ‘out of the woods’ for needing additional brain surgeries to repair damage from the injuries or other post-operative complications he was at risk for, but thankfully avoided.” The last family statement gave almost no hope that Kolstad would live let alone ever recover to any degree; today, however, there’s some optimism in the midst of the uncertainty.
Again, from the family’s blog:
Miracles are truly happening. Every day we are seeing small signs of improvement, small victories of potential recovery. To put it into perspective, when Isaac arrived in the Emergency Room on the night of his injury the physician’s scored him according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. The scale is scored 3-15. That night, Isaac scored a 3. His neurosurgical team of Mayo Physicians, both here in Mankato and in Rochester who were working as a team for his case, informed us that through their experience and through outside research, 97% of cases that arrive with scores below 5 do not survive or are left in a vegetative state. There was little hope that he would make any type of recovery. But right now, our Isaac is in the 3%, he is surviving. We are so hopeful that Isaac will continue to heal, continue to show us that he is working so hard, and continue to beat the odds. The tremendous support and love, the so many people who have reached out to our families, the prayers and positive thoughts have truly gotten Isaac this far. We again, can never thank you enough, and please continue to think and pray for all of those involved, we truly believe it will get Isaac to the recovery he had so small of a chance of reaching.
We said it before and we’ll say it again: While Kolstad lays in a hospital fighting for his life, Nelson is free on a $20,000 bond.
(Tip O’ the Cap: NJ.com)