CHETOPA — Cadin Duggan, a Chetopa Green Hornets basketball player that suffered a serious throat injury on Friday night, is expected to make a full recovery and is resting at home after a tumultuous weekend in the hospital.
Duggan sustained his injuries diving for a loose ball during Friday’s game between Chetopa and Southeast at St. Paul Early Season Tournament.
“It was just a hustle play on his part. The game was over at that point, essentially. We were down quite a bit. But he was still hustling,” Chetopa head coach Rick Aldridge said. “The ball was going out of bounds and Cadin took off after it full speed. He lost his balance and crashed into the first set of bleachers. His body hit the chairs and his momentum catapulted him into the next row of seats. His throat took the full brunt of the fall.”
Duggan was able to get up and go back to the bench after the initial dive. Aldridge sent Duggan to the locker room, where Duggan changed into street clothes and returned the bench to watch the rest of the game.
During the last minute of the game in the middle of a timeout, Duggan complained that he couldn’t breathe. Duggan laid on the bench as Aldridge secured his neck and called 911.
An ambulance arrived and took Duggan to Labette Health in Parsons at roughly 7:30 p.m., where Duggan was placed on a ventilator.
At around 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Duggan was being loaded onto an ambulance to be transferred to The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa when, according to Aldridge, Duggan crashed and staff could not find a pulse.
From there, Duggan was flown by helicopter to Tulsa, where he arrived just after 6 a.m.
Duggan was admitted to the pediatric ICU where an initial examination of the throat was taken. The swelling in Duggan’s throat was so severe that doctors were unable to get a camera in to determine the extent of the damage.
Duggan remained on a ventilator as surgery was scheduled for Sunday morning when the swelling went down. The surgery revealed a small fracture and tear in Duggan’s larynx.
It’s expected that the injuries will heal on their own with rest and other mitigation efforts by Duggan.
A day after surgery, Duggan was released from Saint Francis at 10:30 a.m. and arrived back into Chetopa shortly after 1 p.m. on Monday.
“Believing in God and prayer in everything, that’s what came through this,” Aldridge said. “A full recovery is amazing. He’s already asking about getting on the floor. That’s one of the things I’m struggling with.”
Duggan has been instructed to lie down as much as possible with no physical activity, yelling or screaming until Jan. 3.
“He’s got to go through therapy and everything,” Aldridge said. “If doctors release him, and that’s a big if, I’m struggling with that decision to let him back. I know it’s his senior year. But it’s not a broken leg or ACL. This was darn near death.”
Aldridge said the support the family and team received throughout the weekend was overwhelming.
“The message is that the young man is doing fine,” Aldridge said. “We appreciate the blessings and prayers and phone calls and messages that came from all over the country. People have had a big outpouring for him.”
The Chetopa community is currently organizing fundraising efforts for the Duggan family to assist with medical expenses. Plans have yet to be finalized and Aldridge said he’ll keep the community as up to date as possible.
“We are going to be set up a bank account in Chetopa for the family,” Aldridge said. “We’re formulating that plan to get out to the public. The people in Southeast Kansas have been incredible and want to be involved. It’s just amazing.”