Linebacker Jesse Reising ’11, who left The Game on a stretcher after colliding helmet to helmet with Harvard running back Gino Gordon, has been in the hospital since an ambulance drove him away from Harvard Stadium. On Monday evening, he exchanged emails with the News about his condition.
Q: Is there a diagnosis? Is it a concussion?
A: I appreciate that the Yale community, football family, and others have been very supportive of my efforts towards a full and speedy recovery.
Right now, my nerves aren’t firing to my right arm like they’re supposed to. However, I still have too much swelling in my neck and shoulder for the doctors to reach any conclusions yet. Three weeks from now, I’ll have more tests done to determine whether I tore some nerves, and possibly have them reattached 3 months from now. However, I’m making rapid progress in regaining motor functions, and I expect a full recovery.
Q: What’s the last thing you remember before the hit?
A: I remembered breaking on the ball when Harvard’s quarterback threw it. Once Gordon caught the ball, I knew that I had him lined up to deliver a big hit. I tried to put my helmet on the ball to knock the ball out, but apparently he lowered his head right before I hit him. I don’t think I was ever unconscious, but my nerves weren’t quite responding like they were supposed to, and I couldn’t move. I asked the medical staff whether my arm looked like it was dislocated, whether it was a knock-back tackle, and whether I got the ball out. It was a class act by Gordon to make sure I was all right, especially since I was the one who delivered the hit. Not until the next day did I find out that the referees had called a penalty on me.
Q: How long do you expect to be in the hospital?
A: When the neck or spinal cord is involved in an injury, medical personnel is going to take as many precautions as possible. The plan is to be released from the hospital the afternoon of Tuesday, November 23.
Q: How are you feeling generally?
A: Nerve injuries tend to be the most painful type of injury, but pain is good news because it indicates that the nerves are connected and recovering.
We all know the risks involved when we put on our pads and go out onto the football field. Injuries happen, and some are more serious than others. I’m glad to hear that Gordon was not seriously injured, and I’m thankful that I wasn’t injured worse than I was. That being said, I would never hesitate to put my body on the line for my teammates, and I have no regrets.