Aug 032011

UPDATE: Click here for most recent article regarding Mike Patterson’s condition…


Scary sight at Eagles training camp this morning.  Defensive tackle Mike Patterson went into an apparent heat-related seizure and had to be taken by ambulance to the Lehigh Valley hospital.

The good news is he’s stable and in good spirits according to the team and head trainer Rick Burkholder.  Patterson even had trainer Chris Perduzzi send a text to teammates saying he’s “cool.”

“That’s not a normal situation for us, however, from a medical standpoint, we handled it as a normal situation because we’re trained to do that,” said Burkholder. “We started an IV on him. We had medication available on the field, it did not require any medication. And then we had the paramedics take over to spineboard him just in case it was trauma induced. We put him in the ambulance. He’s at Lehigh Valley Hospital right now. He’s absolutely alert, stable, totally communicating with everybody to the point that he’s joking a little bit. We won’t speculate what happened to him other than that he had a seizure. They’ll do all the testing at Lehigh Valley Hospital to determine why he had the seizure, and that will start with a CT scan of his head and then they’ll work down from there. We’ll give you updates as we go.”

Burkholder also said there is nothing in Patterson’s medical history that would indicate a predisposition towards seizures, so this obviously came as a surprise.

“There are different levels of seizures and the body just goes into involuntary contractions and they lose consciousness, they don’t have control of their extremities,” said Burkholder. “That’s the outward signs of it. It’s all from, it could be anything. We don’t want to speculate what happened to him. I will tell you this, he was in the drill, then he walked down to the one-on-ones and he was talking to everybody. He was about four minutes, five minutes and he wasn’t doing anything and then he had the seizure. The seizure lasted about four or five minutes, on our watched it was probably about four minutes.

“For all intents and purposes, he couldn’t communicate. His eyes were open but he wasn’t alert, so he technically lost consciousness.”

Patterson’s Eagles teammates were very affected by the scene, with many gathering around and holding hands in a show of support and to provide some shade.  Defensive end Trent Cole was visibly upset.  Eagles first-round pick Danny Watkins, an experienced firefighter, actually helped the medics get Patterson moved to the ambulance, with Watkins drawing on his experience in previous rescue situations.  Good to see the Eagles have added a good player and what sounds like a better person.

Eagles coach Andy Reid was proud of the way things were handled in a clearly stressful situation.

“I have to give Rick and our docs, give them the credit,” Reid said. “During chaotic situations like that, they all remain calm. I’m not a doctor or trainer, the players aren’t, and that’s one of your toughest guys going down. So we were all on edge a little bit and Rick just kind of calmed the situation down. One thing I think he did a phenomenal job with was evaluating it, evaluating the situation in a calm way. Bringing the ER doc in and Dr. Ng working in there and he was calm. I think in the long run there it eased the players down, we kind of gathered them around there because the sun was right beating down on Mike. But they were able to kind of see the operation take place.”

Overall, the best news is that Patterson should be fine and will hopefully make the necessary adjustments to his routine to ensure he stays properly hydrated.  A man with a rear end that big shouldn’t be fooling around with the heat.

On an unrelated and humorous note, new Eagles running back Ronnie Brown walked up to the media tent this morning wearing a Phillies hat.  Per Les Bowen, an Eagles lackey gave Brown an Eagles visor before Brown could sit down.  Who says they aren’t peering out the windows at each other all day every day?

UPDATE: official statement from Patterson’s agent, JR Rickert, who ill-advisedly posted the link to his website on Twitter.  Sorry about your servers, guy.  Glad to see they recovered after an hour.

Mike Patterson is alert, in no pain and doing well.  He lost consciousness on the field for a brief period and the Eagles’ medical staff responded accordingly.  We are very grateful for everyone’s prayers and support.  Mike will be back at practice as soon as the doctors clear him.

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