Reports coming in from the Associate Press indicate that University of Southern California tailback, Stefan Johnson, is in stable but serious condition tonight following a horrific accident he sustained while weight-lifting early Tuesday. Most of Johnson’s throat was crushed when the weight fell. AP reports from Greg Beacham said doctors described Johnson’s neck as being “mostly flat” as a result of his injury.
Stefan Johnson lost control of a weight bar he was bench-pressing, and the weight came down on his throat. Stefan Johnson suffered a crushed neck, including the larynx, and endured more than seven hours of surgery to reconstruct his neck structure.
According to a late-breaking report by the AP’s Greg Beacham, doctors who worked on Johnson said of the USC tailback’s physical condition and injury, “the muscular athlete’s neck…helped maintain an airway when the weight bar crashed down.”.
Stefan Johnson played for the USC Trojans, but his college football career may well be over due to his significant weight-lifting accident Tuesday. Doctors at California Hospital Medical Center say a full recovery is expected in time, and this may still allow him to go out for a professional football team later on.
Sadly, though, the USC tailback most likely won’t be back in the game any time soon. As a senior student at USC, the season will be over long before Johnson is in good enough shape to pick up the pigskin competitively.
In Beachem’s AP report, “USC RB Johnson Recovering From Weights Accident”, he writes that Stefan Johnson woke up on his own post-surgery, and is lucid and able to communicate with family members, though he cannot yet speak.
Johnson has been writing notes and using hand gestures to “talk” to those surrounding him and supporting him through his pain. It is unknown when Stefan Johnson may regain his ability to speak, but again, doctors said a full recovery is not just possible, but likely. Though the damage Stefan Johnson sustained was severe, surgery and time will help it heal. More surgeries are possible in the future, as will likely be physical therapy of some sort. Johnson will llikely be taking meals through a feeding tube for a while as his throat heals from both the injury and the surgery.
One thing is clear: through this horrible accident, Stefan Johnson has shown exceptional strength under extreme physical and mental duress. Stefan Johnson has proven himself to be a true athlete; his body withstanding something that would likely kill most people, his mind helping him process the devastating event and allowing him to cooperate with doctors’ orders.
The hospital’s medical director, Dr. Hinika, relayed to AP, “The discipline [he has]…helped calm him down. He took instruction very well.”