Washington Football Team QB Alex Smiths comeback from nearly losing his leg – 60 Minutes – CBS News

Johnny Owens.

Alex Smith: It was one of those plays as a quarterback, you understand, “Okay, they got us–” you understand, “Secure the football and– and simply kinda get down.Alex Smith: I right away knew that it was broken.Norah ODonnell: You could see it or you felt it? Alex Smith: The visual was the most worrying thing, for me to look down and understand that my leg was broken, it wasnt directly– flexing in a place it should not bend.Dr. Robin West: Alex isnt a man who decreases a lot. I had actually never ever operated on the field for him.Dr. Robin West is the Washington Football Teams head physician. This is her 18th season in the NFL.Dr. Robin West: And I recognized rapidly that the injury was– was serious when I went out there.Norah ODonnell: Just so that individuals comprehend, what is a substance spiral fracture?Dr. Robin West: He had a fracture that extended from his ankle joint as much as his knee joint. It spiraled all the method up the tibia, and then he had a piece of bone sticking out of his skin.Norah ODonnell: How typically do injuries like this happen in football?Dr. Robin West: Like this? No. Very, extremely hardly ever.

Alex Smith describes his NFL resurgence.

Alex Smith.

Look no even more than the story of Alex Smith if you are looking for strength and character in the countrys capital these days Just over 2 years ago the Washington quarterback suffered a debilitating injury that almost led to the amputation of his ideal leg. As soon as the very first total draft pick in the NFL and a 3 time pro-bowler, it would have been a ruthless end to the long career of a man who was. Instead, Smith defied expectations by rehabbing the way hurt unique forces do. Tonight a take a look at among the greatest comebacks in sports history. Everything began a little over two years ago, November 18, 2018 when Alex Smith led Washington as quarterback against the Houston Texans and pass rushes, Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt, crashed through his offending line.

Dr. Robin West

At one point, Elizabeth Smith asked to talk to Dr. West privately. His medical team was already thinking about the amputation of her partners best leg.Dr. Robin West: She stated just– just to get rid of it. “I simply desire him to live and stroll out of here.” We talked to his family and his daddy had a similar view. And after that we went to Alex. But he said, “Do what you can to save my leg. Do anything you can to wait.” Smith went through 8 operations in 10 days to carefully get rid of all the infected or dead tissue.Norah ODonnell: What did Alex Smiths leg look like?Dr. Robin West: Bone, basically. All he had was his calf muscle and his tibia and his fibula.Alex Smith: We remained in the healthcare facility roughly a month. They had to eliminate quite a bit of muscle and tissue from my lower leg– in order to– to get the infection under control. Alex Smith: And then faced with the truth that, “Hey, we–” you understand, “We– we still might have to cut off your leg.” And– for me, that– to hear those words– hard to handle as a professional athlete, and someone that– that truly– I– I mean, I think I took that for granted for so long- my body, my health. Yeah.Norah ODonnell: The most fundamental thing individuals take for granted.Alex Smith: Yeah. No doubt. Simply questioning, like, I suggest, would I ever be able to go on walks with my partner? Would I ever have the ability to play with my kids? Crazy reality. Yeah truly grateful to be here.Surgeons covered Smiths bones so they would heal, partially by getting rid of a part of his left thigh muscle and placing it on his lower ideal leg. His leg was likewise fitted with a piece of hardware called an external fixator.Alex Smith: It looks medieval, but its actually sophisticated orthopedics. And so I wear this metal cage thats bolted into and pinned into my leg, and it holds my leg and bone in place– while it heals.Norah ODonnell: How long did you need to wear the fixator?Alex Smith: Yeah, it was practically ten months I wore this bolted in my leg. It was a long process.The Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio was particularly built to help Wounded Warriors through that procedure. Dr. West reached out to her buddy Johnny Owens, who for ten years had actually been the centers chief physiotherapist.

Elizabeth Smith.

Norah ODonnell: Do you remember what he stated to you in the ambulance?Elizabeth Smith: Yes. They put Smiths leg back together with three plates and 28 screws and pins.After surgical treatment the X-rays looked great, however what Dr. West and her colleagues might not see was germs, she thinks from Washingtons football field, had contaminated the open injury on Smiths leg.Alex Smith: There in those couple days after is when it– it, you understand, rapidly– rapidly got sideways.Elizabeth Smith: His blood pressures dropping, his fever was skyrocketing. As the infection damaged Smiths leg, his body reacted by establishing stage-two sepsis, a hazardous condition that can lead and harm organs to death.Norah ODonnell: And his infection simply keeps getting even worse.

I think it was like a light bulb went off.Smith says he was humbled and motivated to be around service members, some with injuries comparable to his own, who were not just returning but running to duty.Alex Smith: The rest of the world was informing me, “Temp–” yeah, “Go be happy about the rest of your life and– and ideally you conserve your leg and– and that d be fantastic. And that was not the mentality down there– Norah ODonnell: At the Center for Intrepid– Alex Smith: That was the exact reverse. And that– Norah ODonnell: No mental limitations.Alex Smith: No.

05:16.

He says he constantly desired to be a quarterback and in spite of being hired by Harvard and Princeton chose to play football at the University of Utah.After being picked by the 49ers as the very first general pick in the 2005 draft, ahead of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Smith had a hard time with injuries and consistency, but after a relocation to Kansas City in 2013, played the best football of his career. The group drafted a young quarterback from Texas Tech.Norah ODonnell: Whats the name of that guy again who changed you at Kansas City?Alex Smith: Yeah. And I think simply, you understand, what an excellent individual he was.Norah ODonnell: How did you coach him?Alex Smith: I was gon na be an excellent colleague.

Dr. Joe Alderete.

Alex Smith: The visual was the most alarming thing, for me to look down and know that my leg was broken, it wasnt directly– bending in a location it shouldnt bend.Dr. They put Smiths leg back together with 3 plates and 28 screws and pins.After surgical treatment the X-rays looked good, but what Dr. West and her colleagues could not see was bacteria, she believes from Washingtons football field, had actually infected the open injury on Smiths leg.Alex Smith: There in those couple days after is when it– it, you understand, quickly– rapidly got sideways.Elizabeth Smith: His blood pressures dropping, his fever was increasing.” Smith underwent eight operations in ten days to carefully remove all the dead or contaminated tissue.Norah ODonnell: What did Alex Smiths leg look like?Dr. And that was not the mindset down there– Norah ODonnell: At the Center for Intrepid– Alex Smith: That was the precise opposite.

It all started a little over two years ago, November 18, 2018 when Alex Smith led Washington as quarterback against the Houston Texans and pass rushers, Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt, crashed through his offending line.

How lots of have actually been able to get back to the type of functionality that Alex Smith has?Dr. The day after he helped Washington clinch the NFC East and a spot in the playoffs Smith was aching and needed some physical therapy. And how worried they are for me.Elizabeth Smith: I comprehend individualss apprehension.

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