Kevin Everett's Story Is One Well ToldFebruary 22, 2008
It was the sight of Kevin Everett, lying motionless, seemingly for an eternity, on the Ralph Wilson Stadium turf during the season opener. He was wheeled out on a stretcher into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital. The only movement that took place during that agonizing hour was a brief convulsive reaction commonly associated with severe trauma.
The initial prognosis was bleak. Everett almost died. He was never to walk again, never mind playing football.
Well, this story is turning out a happy ending.
Six months later, Everett is walking again. While he may not return to the Bills or the NFL, he has a good chance of resuming a normal life.
Everett's amazing recovery is chronicled in the new book Standing Tall: The Kevin Everett Story, written by Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Carchidi is also the co-author of a book on Adam Taliaferro, a Penn State player who also suffered a spinal cord injury during the 2000 season.
"I am on the Board of Directors at the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, where we raise money for athletes who have spinal injuries," Carchidi said during an interview at the University at Buffalo. "He was paralyzed as a freshman, and was told he would never recover, and he made a miraculous recovery. Kevin Everett's agent was familiar with the story, and called and ask if I'd be interested in doing the book on Kevin."
While Everett's recovery has been miraculous, much attention has been paid to his being able to walk only three months after his traumatic injury. Less known is that Everett has disabilities that may take a long time to heal, and some perhaps not at all.
"His hands are numb and he has no feeling in his hands and most of his fingers," Carchidi said. "When I was with him, he cut his finger and didn't know he did it until he pulled it away and blood was all over him. He had a lot of nerve damage from the paralysis."
To Carchidi, a main contributor in the recovery process besides the medical advances was the support from his mother, "Miss Patricia," and his fiancée, Wiande Moore. The two pushed him through the barriers that held him from recovering. In his book, Carchidi recounts the emotional bond between Everett and Moore, a West African immigrant from war-torn Liberia. Everett proposed to Moore during his hospital stay.
And the outpouring of support from Bills fans also did its part to lift Everett, as well as encouragement from people around the globe, including actress Whoopi Goldberg, who sent along an arrangement of yellow tulips.
"I think it helped him a great deal," Carchidi said. "You could see how much he was loved. Miss Patricia and Wiande had mixed emotions to leave Buffalo because they were overwhelmed with the love and support they received at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital. Mentally, he saw how much love and support was out there and he wasn't just recovering for himself, but he was recovering for the entire world."