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Buffalo's Dan Bishop recovering from major injury at MAC Championships



Senior wrestler underwent emergency surgery in Saginaw, MI after suffering spinal injury

BUFFALO, NY - University at Buffalo senior wrestler Dan Bishop is in serious condition at Saginaw St. Marys Hospital after suffering a spinal injury on Saturday afternoon while competing at the Mid-American Conference championships at Central Michigan University.

Bishop was taken to St. Marys Hospital Saturday afternoon after suffering the injury in the 125-pound semifinal match. Saturday night he underwent emergency surgery to relieve the inflammation on his spinal cord after it was determined that a fracture had occurred between his C5 and C6 vertebrae and that damage to one of his major arteries had also occurred. Doctors performed successful surgery that included fusing the two vertebrae back together and installing a metal plate and permanent screws to support the spine. At the time of the surgery, Bishop had lost feeling to all of his extremities.

Bishop has been alert and attentive since the surgery and has regained feeling in his limbs. He began rehabilitation on Monday morning with hopes of gaining a complete recovery. The days and weeks ahead will determine more fully his functionality but doctors have indicated that he is ahead of their projections at this point, in part because of his tremendous conditioning as a Division I athlete.

"On behalf of the entire UB wrestling program, I want to extend the most sincere thanks to everyone involved in giving Danny the best possible opportunity at a full recovery from a life-threatening injury," said head coach Jim Beichner. "The officials reacted quickly by stopping the match, our trainer, Allison Gammell and the EMTs and doctors on site from Central Michigan were immediately on the scene and took every precaution necessary. Then the hospital in Mt. Pleasant had the foresight to get Danny and his family to a regional trauma hospital in Saginaw where MRIs could be taken to give a complete picture of the injury.

"The two surgeons (neurosurgeon Dr. E. Malcolm Field and orthopedic Dr. Waheed Akbar) who performed the operation are among the best in the country at this type of surgery," said Beichner. "The Bishop family and all of us could not have asked for anything more in terms of care and consideration and consider it a complete blessing that Danny has the chance to walk again considering the magnitude of the injury."

Bishop will remain in Saginaw until a trauma rehabilitation center is chosen for further evaluation and rehab work.

"My wife and I are staying here in Saginaw and will be bringing Danny home with us," said Norm Bishop, his father. "We cannot thank the UB staff and everyone involved, including all the phone calls and e-mails of support from friends and family, enough. It has just been phenomenal what people have done for us."

Bishop advanced to the finals with the medical forfeit and finished second in the tournament despite the injury. It capped a senior season which saw the Whitehall, NY native post a 19-7 record and earn a No. 2 seed into the MAC Tournament. Bishop had 51 victories in his UB career.
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