Shawnee Mission West Football Player Gives Thanks for Being Alive

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Jill Chadwick

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               Montell Madlock knew something was wrong after he took a tackle early in the game on Sept. 29.  “I felt like a shockwave through my upper body,” the senior at Shawnee Mission West said as he recalled the hit would eventually threaten his life. It was a team of professionals working the sidelines that night who would save it.

            At halftime, Montell complained to his coach that his stomach hurt a little but thought he could play. “He ran back a kick-off return for a touchdown in the second half,” Coach Tim Callaghan said.  “I thought … he’s looking pretty good and then all of a sudden he was on the sideline.”

            Montell’s athletic trainer with the Sports Medicine and Performance Center at The University of Kansas Hospital saw the change happen. “I’ve been at the school three years now and I’ve worked Montell for three years,” Ryan Sloop explained. “I can tell when he’s hurt and when he is not.”  Ryan alerted Dr. Scott Mullen, surgeon with the Sports Medicine and Performance Center at The University of Kansas Hospital, who was also working the game that night.

“It was pretty clear he had an internal abdominal injury,” Dr. Mullen said. In fact, Montell had suffered a perforated bowl or tear to his small intestine. “This is a very rare injury …but coincidentally it happened at another state and unfortunately that one went undiagnosed and that person passed on … this can be a very serious thing.”  

            EMS, also working the game, quickly called for an ambulance once Dr. Mullen made his diagnosis.  Montell underwent surgery at a nearby hospital and was back for the play-offs in November.   Shawnee Mission Schools contracts with The University of Kansas Hospital to provide medical care for students at school as well as on the sidelines.

            “We love these kids like they’re our own,” Shawnee Mission West Athletic Director Don Perkins said. “We’re very fortunate that night that we had the doctor and Ryan with us, and EMS. It was a complete team effort and I’m glad it worked that night.”

            In the video, highlights show Montell making a touchdown. B-roll also includes Montell interacting with his Coach, the SMW athletic director, his athletic trainer and doctor.  Reporters may use sound from the interviews and b-roll to broadcast their own stories.