ESPN has the latest on Stafon Johnson:
USC Trojans tailback Stafon Johnson is awake and communicating via writing and hand signals less than a day after emergency surgery to repair throat injuries from a weightlifting accident, according to a doctor at the hospital where he is being treated.
Dr. Gudata Hinika, the trauma medical director at California Hospital Medical Center, said Johnson is giving thumbs up signs and communicating in writing to his mother and teammates after undergoing a seven-hour surgery to repair a crushed neck and larynx.
While it appears Johnson’s recovery is assured, from the additional information now coming out, it appears that was not a certaintly last evening.
Stan Johnson, the player’s father, told ESPN’s Smith that his son needed a tracheotomy to enable him to breathe.
Hinika said a man of lesser stature would have died from the injuries, but the thickness of Johnson’s neck muscles helped him to breathe and probably saved his life.
Hinika said Johnson is expected to fully recover, but would not speculate on the recovery prognosis for Johnson’s vocal chords. It may take as long as six weeks before doctors even ask Johnson to attempt to speak, depending on factors such as swelling, he explained.
The doctors are trying to wean Johnson off a ventilator, and he is being fed through a tube in his stomach.
We’ll continue to monitor Johnson’s progress.