Two weeks in the past, Curtis suffered a devastating injury from an accident in coaching that has left him within the hospital with a broken backbone and neck. Curtis’ shut buddy and teammate McCourt has rallied the MMA group in assist of Curtis, a one-time Bellator fighter.
McCourt appeared on The MMA Hour on Wednesday to supply an replace on Curtis’ situation and to elucidate what occurred in that fateful coaching session.
“Two weeks in the past in wrestling apply, Ryan suffered a traumatic incident,” McCourt mentioned. “From what Ryan’s informed me, I imagine he was in a physique lock place and he had his arm trapped, and his companion hipped in and sort of dumped him on his head. So the arm was trapped, so he couldn’t submit, and it was fairly a drive that it has.
“It mainly smashed his vertebrae utterly. … The surgeon mentioned the trauma that occurred to his backbone and his spinal twine and his vertebrae is one thing you’ll see from a extreme automobile crash or falling from the likes of a balcony.”
The severity of the damage was unknown to Curtis’ family and friends till they visited him on the hospital. Solely then did it change into clear how badly Curtis had been damage.
“Ryan is the life and soul of any room,” McCourt mentioned. “Anyone that is aware of him or anyplace he goes, he’s simply that man within the health club that everyone loves, all people desires to be round. He has simply bought such an infectious vitality.
“We walked into this darkish, darkish room within the hospital and he was nonetheless within the stretcher that he’d been within the night time earlier than. There was a backlog of sufferers in [accident and emergency] and we have been like, ‘What’s occurring?’ We thought Ryan could be joking like, ‘Oh, I’ve damage my neck.’ From there, he was paralyzed from the neck down. One of many spinal surgeons got here from A&E … he had executed the X-rays and MRIs and went into the magnitude of the damage.”
McCourt was cautious to put out the extent of Curtis’ accidents and subsequent surgical procedures: Two dislocated vertebrae in his backbone, C4 and C5, and C5 and C6. Ruptured discs between the vertebrae that then pressed down on Curtis’ spinal twine, which was additionally dislocated. The state of affairs required the surgeon to take away the discs from Curtis’ backbone and substitute them with titanium cages. Titanium plates and screws have been then positioned throughout the vertebrae to stabilize them.
In keeping with McCourt, the surgeon described it as “essentially the most extreme and essentially the most harmful” process he may carry out. And it wasn’t over for Curtis.
In a second surgical procedure, two screws have been inserted into the dislocated vertebrae after which two rods have been connected to these screws. The length of Curtis’ keep within the hospital is anticipated to final one month, with 5 months of bodily rehabilitation forward, and that’s simply with the hope to face once more. Curtis could require a wheelchair to journey sooner or later.
Suffice to say, the expertise has been heartbreaking for Curtis’ household and buddies.
“He has a two-year-old daughter, she’s residing at my home on the minute with my mother,” McCourt mentioned. “My Isabel is taking care of her and my mother is taking care of [Curtis’ partner] Emma whereas I’ve needed to come again into camp and it’s simply — how insane that your life can change in a cut up second and the magnitude of what Ryan’s life was going to be. It’s undoubtedly laborious for us all to know, and we are able to’t thank the spinal group and the levels within the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for what they did, as a result of a lot may have went flawed throughout that surgical procedure.
“Ryan continues to be Ryan, it’s nonetheless him, it’s his character, and [if the injury was] any increased up or any errors they might have made, then we may have misplaced him and his character, who he was. I feel the quantity of assist from the Irish MMA group and from so many alternative folks, so many alternative seminars, so many donations to Ryan is a testomony to who he’s and the way many individuals’s lives he’s touched.”
Curtis has competed 10 instances as knowledgeable MMA fighter courting again to 2015. He’s compiled a 6-4 report, together with a first-round TKO of Luis Gonzalez at Bellator 217 in his lone look for the promotion.
Although will probably be a troublesome climb again to competing contained in the cage once more, McCourt is assured that her buddy will bounce again a method or one other.
“He’s essentially the most constructive, variety, caring individual,” McCourt mentioned. “I’m positive anyone who talks about him will say such wonderful issues about him, and he’s such a expertise, and all he ever needed to do was to make it to the UFC. He had all of the talent, he had the angle, the appeal, every part, and it simply actually breaks my coronary heart that this has occurred to him. I simply preserve considering, ‘Why him of all folks? Why does this occur to him?’
“However we imagine every part goes to be for a motive. He’s going to go on to attain sensible issues in no matter occurs. He may commentate, he may take up a special sport, he may accomplish that a lot, however there’s undoubtedly an extended highway forward and that’s why I feel I arrange that fundraising web page, as a result of he isn’t going to have the ability to work. He has a younger household and we don’t know the way lengthy, there’s no ending, day-after-day is sort of a curler coaster. We simply try to take it daily.”
See an replace from Curtis and his household under and contemplate supporting them with a donation to his GoFundMe campaign here.