Good Sports: A High School Football Player's Riley Story

May 19, 2014
Topics: Emergency Medicine (ER)

Steven Bailey
Stephen Bailey, Edinburgh, gets a visit from Andrew Luck

Every fall football stadiums throughout Indiana glow under Friday night lights. Last August 23 in Indianapolis, Steven Bailey was returning a kickoff for his visiting Edinburgh High School Lancers when three Emmerich Manual High School opponents brought him down. The 16-year-old running back started playing football at age 7, so his parents Harvey and Susan Bailey had seen plenty of tackles.    

“It was a clean hit,” Harvey says. “Nothing out of the ordinary. He was slow to get up, but he walked off the field.”

But when Steven rolled off the bench in pain, a trainer urged his parents to take him to an emergency room. From Franciscan St. Francis Health–Indianapolis, Steven was airlifted to Riley Hospital with a torn kidney, shattered spleen and lung injury.

Riley is home to Indiana’s only Level I pediatric trauma center. Riley pediatric surgeon Johanna Askegard-Giesmann, M.D., was on call when Steven arrived. “Any time a child comes into the Emergency Room with traumatic injuries, our trauma system is activated,” she says. “This was a higher level of trauma activation, so the entire team was aware of him.”

Steven stayed at Riley for seven days. “We observe these patients with continuous monitoring, especially the first 12 to 24 hours in the ICU,” Dr. Askegard-Giesman says. “Basically the body clots the injury, and they’re stable.”

The highlight of Steven’s stay was a visit from Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who gave him an autographed football and poster that’s now housed in a display case on his dresser.

Steven was able to rejoin his team for the last game of the year on November 1. He and his family are grateful for the medical team that made that milestone possible. “Riley makes you feel really welcome,” says Susan. “The staff and doctors are awesome!”

This is an excerpt from the article "Good Sports" in the Spring 2014 edition of Riley Messenger magazine. To read more, click here.

Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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