Keegan Burnett critically injured - now recovered

Discussion about ways to make the sport safer and discussion of past injuries so we can learn how to avoid them in the future.
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Keegan Burnett critically injured - now recovered

Unread postby vaultguru6 » Fri May 04, 2007 11:58 pm

During warm ups for the Weber State Twilight meet on Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, Idaho State vaulter Keegan Burnett blew through a pole, rolled off the back of the pit and struck his head on exposed concrete behind the pit. When paramedics arrived he was unconscious. He was taken to the local hospital where he was treated for bleeding and hemmoraging of the brain. He is currently in critical condition and a medically induced coma. His vitals have stabalized. Extent of damage to the brain cannot be determined until the swelling has reduced and doctors feel comfortable in bringing him out of the medically induced coma.

Keegan is a friend and former teammate of mine. He vaulted at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon for two years where he jumped 16'5". He then transfered to the University of Oregon where we were teammates last year. He transferred to Idaho State University at the beginning of winter term this year. He is a warm hearted and friendly person and loves the sport of pole vaulting with every bone in his body.

Let's pull together as a pole vault community and keep Keegan in our prayers. A website is currently being set up by his parents with the help of the hospital in which he is being treated. When the website is finished I will try and post it.

I have heard everything about this incident second hand. I did not want to post anything until I had talked to someone intimate with the incident or read a new article. However, no articles have yet been written. If any of the details above are incorrect, please correct them. If you have information about the facilities at Weber State or this specific incident, please provide it. Again, please keep Keegan in your prayers.

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Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sat May 05, 2007 1:02 am

I am really sorry to hear that :crying: I got to hang out with Keegan when I was in Pocatello for Simplot Games. One of the most passionate vaulters out there.

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Unread postby vaultguru6 » Sat May 05, 2007 4:13 pm

They got his website up and running. The website is:

www.carepages.com
Care page name: vaulterboy

You have to sign up for the service but its quick and worth it. His parents are giving daily updates of the situation and you can wish him and his family well through the website.

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Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sat May 05, 2007 6:49 pm

I am going to post some of the updates here, but I would encourage everyone to sign up for the CarePages site so they can make sure their messages get passed on directly to his family.



May 02, 2007 at 09:53 PM PDT
Keegan was injured while vaulting at Weber State University in Ogden, UT about 4:30 this afternoon. When he landed he flipped off the mat backwards and hit his head on the concrete. He was unconscious for 10-15 minutes.

All we know right now is that he is in ICU at McKay-Dee hospital in Ogden. The doctor said there is some bleeding in his brain and they have inserted a probe to monitor the pressure build up.

We are flying out of Portland at 7:30 tomorrow morning. We'll let you know what is happening when we find out.




May 03, 2007 at 04:17 PM PDT

Hi all,
We are finally here! We got here about noon today and were able to see Keegan right away. He is in ICU and is doing as well as they are expecting him to do right now. They did a CT scan this morning and there were no significant changes from the one they did yesterday. Which is good! It means the bleeding has pretty much stopped. They inserted a breathing tube this morning so that they could sedate him even more. The doctor explained that it is giving his brain a chance to rest which will, hopefully, lead to healing. But he also said that there is now a chance his brain will begin to swell. Brain injuries are very unique to each person. There is no way for them to forcast exactly what will happen next, or when it will happen. It could be two or three days before anything changes or two or three weeks. Time will tell.
We were very impressed by the doctor and the nurses. When we first arrived the ICU nurse filled us in on what was going on and when she was through Rick did not have even one question! That tells you just how thorough she was. The hospital is huge and only about 5 years old and is very nice. We are staying in a house that the hospital owns just up the street.
Thank you all for your care and concern and prayers. We really appreciate them and will be sure to read them to Keegan when he wakes up.
I'll try to write again tomorrow.

Love, Alice and Rick




May 04, 2007 at 11:24 AM PDT
Hi all,
Keegan's condition has not changed. He ran a fever overnight but they said that is normal since your brain acts as your thermostat. They are not planning any changes in his care at this point. Every four hours they give him a medication to draw fluid off the brain and that lowers his brain pressure number. That is when they will let us talk to him and touch him. We can come in and look at him every hour, but can't do anything that will stimulate him.

Everyone here is very helpful and concerned. Besides hospital people, we have talked to college presidents, track coaches, Athletic Director and all of them have offered to provide us with whatever we need.

We are going to drive up to Pocatello today and get Keegan's pickup so we can turn our rental car in. And we are going to try to get his laptop so I can continue to post updates. The computer I'm using right now is not available on the weekends.

Thank you all for your concern and prayers and offers of assistance. We still have no idea how long this will go on but it's very helpful to know that everything at home is being taken care of while we are away.

Alice & Rick



4 May 05, 2007 at 03:32 PM PDT
Good Afternoon everyone,
We finally got to see the neurologist. Keegan is stable, nothing has changed. He said it is not uncommon for brain injury patients to continue to get worse for 5-7 days before they level off and turn the corner. In one hour it will be exactly 3 days for Keegan. But luckily he isn't continually getting worse, but he is not getting better either. Dr. Smith compared Keegan's injury to that of a shaken baby. The brain just gets bounced around inside of the skull and that causes the bleeding and then the swelling. He showed us both of the CT scans that were taken and pointed out the areas of bleeding. If Keegan continues as is, they will probably do another one on Monday.
This hospital is so nice. It is also a Trauma Center and I noticed when we looked at the CT scan that it was taken at 6:03pm on Wednesday. That was only 30-45 minutes after the accident happened. The track is only a little over a mile from this hospital and so in that length of time the ambulance was called, he was evaluated, loaded up, transported, and in for a scan. If this had to happen, it couldn't have happened in a better spot. The ICU nurses have all been great. Keegan is their only patient since he is listed as critical and they all have answered all of our questions and been very helpful.
So, to sum it up, it's just hurry up and wait. Rick's not real good at waiting, but he's coming along!
Thank you all again for your concern and prayers and love.

Alice & Rick

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Unread postby master » Sat May 05, 2007 7:56 pm

.
Be strong big guy. Fight back. My thoughts are with you and your family.

- master

(This is a photo I took of Keegan in July 2004 at Hayward Field.) Image

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Unread postby tigervaulter727 » Sun May 06, 2007 12:20 am

Prayers to him and his family and friends
:heart:

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Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon May 07, 2007 3:58 am

5 May 06, 2007 at 03:33 PM PDT
Hello everyone,
Today has not been a good day for Keegan. They have had a more difficult time keeping the brain pressure down through the night and all day today. They did another CT scan this morning and it shows that there is some swelling in the area where the most bleeding occurred. This is not a surprise, it is what they have been expecting. We just have to wait to see how far it progresses. In the meantime they are doing everything they can with sedation, pain medication, and the other drugs to manage the situation. We can be in the room only a limited amount of time because even the sound of our conversation makes the numbers go up.

Here is a link to a pole vaulting forum. One of Keegan's friends put a great picture on it of him in action at Hayward Field:

http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/vie ... hp?t=11949

So for now that is all I have to report. Oh, there was one good thing we found out. We had been watching one of the numbers on the monitor thinking it was his heart rate. It had been running 75-83. Today it was 101. When we asked why his heart was beating so hard, we found out we had been looking at the wrong number. Up above was a 42. That is his resting heart rate. Is he in good physical condition? I think so!

We are being well taken care of my everyone down here. So don't worry about Rick and me. Just pray for Keegan.

Alice

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Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon May 07, 2007 4:05 am

This is a picture I took of Keegan with my camera phone when I was out in Pocatello for Simplot Games.

Image

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Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon May 07, 2007 4:27 am

Image

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Unread postby theczar » Mon May 07, 2007 11:28 am

we're praying for you, man.

Stay strong. Hope to see you vaulting again soon! :crying: :yes:

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Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon May 07, 2007 2:16 pm

6 May 07, 2007 at 09:49 AM PDT
Good Morning,
Keegan is about the same as yesterday. No better, no worse. They are continually busy with him keeping everything balanced and the numbers down where they should be. We talked to a different ICU doctor this morning and he assured us that they still have things to try, before surgery, if they need to change their course of action in keeping the numbers down. We asked about how they will bring him out of the sedation when the numbers do stabilize without meds. He said the swelling will go down slowly. They will leave the probe in his head as they reduce the sedation to make sure that as he regains consciousness the pressure doesn't increase. And that it will take a few days for all that to happen and him to wake up. He expects him to be on the ventilator until the end of the week.
This morning he has a temp of 100.4. They have him covered in cold towels from chin to toes and the room temp is about 65 degrees. He rather resembles a snowman. But they had told us before that it is very easy for them to develop a fever and very difficult to bring it down.
I am sitting out on the patio outside of the cafeteria. The sun is shining today and they expect a high of 70. There is a huge pond with a fountain, waterfalls, lots of trees and green grass, patio tables with umbrellas. It's a very beautiful setting and a nice change from the ICU waiting room.
That's all for now. I'll let you know if things change.

Alice

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Unread postby vaultwest » Mon May 07, 2007 7:08 pm

I coached Keegan while he was at Lane Community College and I found Keegan, beside being a great guy, to be a damn tuff minded guy so I know he will pull through this OK. As a matter of fact I have called him hard headed many times so I was very suprised he even could hurt that hard old head.

But seriously I think all of us vaulters and coaches should take a moment and reflect on safety. I believe from talking to a number of people that while the pit he was jumping on was at the bare minimum of the dimension standard it was a small pit and there was no padding on the concrete behind the pit. We should all watch out for those types of situations and correct them before vaulting.

Also I know Keegan's vaulting very well and he has always struggled to be consistent with his plant and takeoff. Keegan will hit a great jump and look world class and then take 5 jumps where he looks horrible. So he has been a candidate for a blow throw jump. Being consistent at takeoff is not only important for performance, but also as this bad situation shows, for safety.

I look forward to vaulting again with Keegan in the future.
Vault On
Coach West


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