Local High School Football Player Comes Close to Paralysis

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Bailey Magsig has been an athlete all his life, so when he hurt his neck in a football game two Fridays ago, it didn't phase him.

"Last season I hurt my neck too, and it was just pinched nerves," Magsig said. "I thought it was the same thing so I didn't think anything of it."

But this wasn't the same. Magsig skipped two days of practice. And his coaches told him "just take it easy, I don't want you to get hurt. We need you for the [Okemos vs. Jackson] game Friday," he remembered.

MSU Sports Doctor Michael Shingles says athletes often try to self diagnose and play through their injuries. But that can be dangerous, especially with any injury to the neck, he said.

"If theres an injury that's missed and you reinjure it, it incrases your chances of having a much more serious problem," Shingles said.

After that second game--Okemos vs. Jackson--Magsig and his mom Sally figured it was time to get his neck checked out. It turned out he broke his fifth cervical vertebrae, which is located in the neck.

"It's tough as a parent to know when you need to take that next step," said Sally Magsig.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20.

"If somebody I knew got injured like he did I'd say take him. Take him now," she said.

The Magsigs are grateful they went to the doctor when they did, realizing it could have been much worse.

"The bone was less than a quarter-inch away from my spine," Bailey Magsig said. "If it would have touched my spine I'd be Quadriplegic right now."

Magsig will have to wear the brace for another three months -- and then undergo months of physical therapy. But his mom is just thankful he's alive.

He hopes to at least get back on the field for baseball season.

"Bailey has been a great captain for us, been a great player for two years," said Paul Palmer, the head football coach at Okemos High. "He's a tough man and we're gonna miss him."


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