Leg injury to Thomas won’t change LHS medical response procedure


Brady Johnson, Sports Editor

Anyone who went to the Lakeridge vs. Canby football game on Sept. 19 would likely agree that the evening was a nearly perfect homecoming for the LHS community. The Pacers pushed the usually physical Cougars around in a 57-33 win, the student section was rabid with excitement, and there wasn’t an empty seat left in the bleachers. Everything was going how it should on homecoming Friday for LHS. Until about halfway through the second quarter when an injury took place that shocked everyone in attendance and has since stayed with the football team

Senior receiver Kevan Thomas suffered a clean tibia/fibula break that saw his tibia broken in two places. Luckily, no damage was done to any nerves, ligaments or tendons.

The scene was difficult for everyone watching.

“I was running toward him and getting ready to set a block when I heard the bone snap and saw him on the ground screaming,” said fellow senior receiver Jack Cole. “I just started bawling.”

It was not easy for anyone in attendance either. Much of the student section and LHS fans weren’t aware of the severity of the injury or who the fallen player was. All they knew was that something was quite wrong as Thomas laid on the ground for the better part of 20 minutes waiting for the paramedics.

“I was concerned about the ambulance response and how long it took,” said senior Alex Gaekwad. “That’s a scary thing to have happen.”

Guess what? Yours truly was initially horrified that Thomas was forced to stay on the field for that long waiting for the EMT while his right leg was in the shape of a “Z.”

I wondered why it took so unusually long for the injured player to be fully attended and cared for.

Athletic Director Ian Lamont helped clarify the situation and detail the emergency response following the injury.

According to Lamont, the fire department and police are on staff at every game as is the team doctor and school athletic trainer. Following any injury to an athlete, the doctor and trainer are required to attend the injured player and if the injury is deemed severe, the fire department calls EMT services.

“The fire department and police are on staff at every game and immediately called the ambulance,” said Lamont. “I wasn’t the one who had to take care of it.”

Athletic secretary Liz Murphy affirmed that both LHS and LOHS have the fire department on staff at every football game.

Dr. Davitt, the team doctor was immediately on call as was athletic trainer Kim Deaver. Mark Daskalos, a pediatrician and father of freshman homecoming princess Sophie Daskalos, was in attendance for the game and came down from the stands and onto the field to assist.

“After the EMT arrived and got Kevan on the stretcher and gave him an IV, the fire department told me that the two doctors and Kim did an unbelievable job,” said Lamont. “They did a perfect job of stabilizing his leg and keeping him calm because I know he was in excruciating pain.”

Added Lamont on why it took an unexpectedly long time for the ambulance to arrive, “We think they were either on another call or just having a busy night. Typically, there response time at LHS athletic events is between 3-5 minutes. Tonight, it just happened to be around 12.”

Lamont also reminded everyone that rushing Thomas to the hospital wouldn’t have made any difference in terms of the injury. His leg was stable and he was ready to be transported.

“We don’t control the EMT response time,” said Lamont. “They could be here in two minutes next time. Our medical response policy won’t change.”

After gathering the whole story and reviewing the facts, I agree that it shouldn’t. Contrary to what may have been perceived from a fan’s perspective, a swift and correct injury response was performed. More importantly, there is a policy to follow for whenever an LHS athlete is injured.

There’s no need to fret any further over what transpired on homecoming night. LHS athletes and parents can be assured that every injury is properly prepared for and ready to be assessed.