Helmet-to-Helmet Hit Paralyzes Bay Area Player

Freshman not able to move arms or legs

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009  |  Updated 10:29 AM PDT
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Helmet-to-Helmet Hit Paralyzes Bay Area Player

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The family of a Northern California community college football player critically injured in a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game says he is expected to survive but could be paralyzed.

Shawntae Semien says her brother, Contra Costa College freshman Wali Wright, had surgery Monday to have a breathing tube inserted and pins placed in his spine, which broke in several places.

She says Wright has no feeling in his arms and legs. Doctors found swelling and bruising in his spinal cord and the circumstances could change.

Coaches described it as a serious head and neck injury. Wright's family is by his side but he was not able to speak yet because he was sedated, the coaches told the Contra Costa Times.

Wright, a defensive back, was hurt when he collided with a running back from Los Medranos College on the first play from scrimmage in Saturday's game.

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