Last updated: July 18. 2013 2:02PM - 182 Views
Debbie Rolen
Staff Writer

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Injuries from a fall on the basketball court at the Charleston Civic Center still have 75-year-old Willie Akers fighting for his life. A family member says Akers has to get past current obstacles before he will be able to begin a long, difficult recovery period

Akers’ son Chad said when his father fell, he broke the C6 vertebrae in his neck. When Akers was brought to the Emergency Room at Charleston Area Medical Center, he had to be placed on a ventilator because his airway was obstructed.

Surgery was performed Monday in an attempt to repair the broken vertebrae. The three-hour surgery went well and his neck is now stabilized; however, he is still not out of the woods yet and a full recovery might not be possible.

Developing pneumonia while hospitalized kept Akers on the ventilator, but he was taken off on Tuesday and is able to whisper.

Although the surgery was successful in stabilizing Akers’ neck, it had no effect on his ability to move. He has had some movement , but not very strong. The damage done to his spine may interfere with his ability to walk again.

The next step in Akers’ recovery is physical therapy. According to Chad, he is not going to have some rehabilitation, he is going to have a lot of physical therapy. The work will begin in the hospital, where he is expected to stay for the next eight to twelve weeks. Therapy will continue once he goes home.

“My father still needs all the prayers he can get. We don’t want people to think that just because the surgery was a success that he is ok now. He isn’t. We still have a Long, long way to go,” said Chad, “We want everyone to know how thankful we are for all the prayers and concern that everyone has shown my father over the last few days, and we want everyone to continue to pray for him to be able to walk again.”

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