HS football: Paralyzed former Madison player slips into coma
Web Posted: 02/27/2008 12:21 AM CST
and Tom Orsborn
San Antonio Express-News
A former Madison football player who suffered a paralyzing injury in a 2003 playoff game was in critical condition Tuesday night at Northeast Methodist Hospital after slipping into a coma.
Paramedics transported David Edwards, 20, to the hospital after he stopped breathing late Monday. Edwards' mother, Faye Stanton, and a neighbor performed CPR on Edwards before the paramedics arrived.
Stanton said Edwards, who has battled pneumonia since the fall, stopped breathing shortly after going to bed Monday night.
"It was about 10:30," Stanton said. "He called me and said, 'I've got to cough.' That's the last thing he said."
Cedric Stanton, Edwards' stepfather, said paramedics arrived at the family's Northeast Side home in about 10 minutes.
The paramedics revived Edwards shortly thereafter, Faye Stanton said.
"After they told me that, I expected David to look up and say, 'Hi, Mom,'" Stanton said, her voice trailing off.
Madison football coach Jim Streety visited Edwards, whose 21st birthday is Saturday, at the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
"At this point, all we can do is hope and pray," said Streety, who has remained close to Edwards and his family. "He has battled this and kept a magnificent attitude. His family is the same way."
Eddie Canales, co-founder of the Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Organization, was among a small group of close friends who gathered at the hospital. His wife, Pita, and youngest son, Chris, also were there.
Chris Canales has been paralyzed since suffering a spinal-cord injury while playing in a football game for San Marcos Baptist Academy in 2001.
"This hits us hard because we're like family," Eddie Canales said.
Edwards was a junior defensive back when he snapped the fourth vertebra in his neck while making a tackle against Austin Westlake receiver Coy Aune on Nov. 15, 2003.
Aune, now a senior at Texas, and his mother, Marci, drove from Austin to visit Edwards and lend their support.
"We'll always share a bond," Coy Aune said. "The way he's lived his life since he got hurt has been amazing. Even when everything went out from under him, he still had a smile on his face. He's taught us how to live life."
Said Marci Aune: "David has a charisma and charm to him that just makes you want to like him. There's a spirit about him. We think of him as one of our own children."
News of Edwards' hospitalization cast a pall over teachers and students at Madison. Since graduating in 2005, Edwards has visited the school often and also has attended Mavericks sporting events regularly.
"We got the word out to everyone this morning, and the mood has been pretty somber," Madison principal Chris Thompson said. "He's a hero to all of us. After his accident, he really dedicated his life to talking to kids. He's such an important part of the Madison community."
Said Madison boys basketball coach John Valenzuela: "He means everything to our community ... "It was very difficult to teach today."
Valenzuela, who also serves as co-pastor of Capilla del Pueblo, said he often sprinkles his sermons with stories about Edwards.
"He is our inspirational story," Valenzuela said. "He'll always say to me, 'Isn't it great to be alive?'"
Streety said he was looking forward to celebrating Edwards' birthday with him.
"I had thought about getting a pizza and maybe dropping by and eating with him," Streety said. "I wanted to get there by Friday, because I knew the family had something planned for Saturday.
"Then, as soon as I got to school this morning, I find out he's in the hospital."