HOUSTON (September 24, 2007)

Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett arrived safely at TIRR Memorial Hermann last Friday and has been evaluated by a team of physicians who will implement the next phase of his recovery from the spinal cord injury he sustained September 9.

"The medical and surgical team in Buffalo were successful in decompressing and stabilizing Everett's cervical spine which has optimized his recovery," Donovan said. "Our job now is to start his rehabilitation. While we are still evaluating him, considering his injury was only two weeks ago Kevin has shown significant improvement in motor and sensory function and is able to lift his legs in bed."

Everett is experiencing a condition called central cord syndrome, meaning he has more movement and strength in his legs than in his arms. With this syndrome, which is associated with damage to the nerve fibers, the brain's ability to send and receive signals to and from parts of the body below the site of injury is reduced. The affected nerves are particularly important for hand and arm function.

"Our goal at this time is to provide the rehabilitation that he needs to facilitate his recovery, both physically and mentally," Castillo said. "I am optimistic that Kevin will walk again. But it's important to remember that standing and walking are only one aspect of rehabilitation following spinal cord injury."

According to Castillo, Everett has a number of critical factors in his favor: He received excellent medical and surgical care from the time of injury; his spinal cord was decompressed and stabilized, optimizing the chances for neurologic recovery; and he has improved significantly in two weeks (the earlier recovery is experienced, the better outcome for rehabilitation). Finally, he is young, motivated and has support from family, friends and legions of fans.

Everett's primary medical team includes the following:

  • Dr. William H. Donovan provides the overall direction and leadership of Everett's care team. An internationally recognized academic physiatrist who specializes in the areas of spinal cord injury, Donovan is the Medical Director and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at TIRR Memorial Hermann. He is also chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and an adjunct professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Dr. Teodoro Castillo is Everett's attending physician. He is co-director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and an adjunct assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Dr. Amir Malik was referred by the NFL Buffalo Bills team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Cappuccino to consult on Everett's case. He is a neurosurgeon at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
  • Dr. Walter Lowe is Co-Medical Director of the Sports Medicine Institute and serves as the head team physician for the NFL Houston Texans. Dr. Lowe is an associate professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Lowe is the director of Baylor Sports Medicine Fellowship and the chief of the Sports Medicine Section.