The rebound of his life: Chetopa basketball player recovers from traumatic injury

Local Sports

CHETOPA, Kan. — There are moments in life that one could never predict. Moments that may lead to setbacks, but in those moments there’s hope, there’s faith, there’s a chance to turn whatever odds may be stacked against you with an opportunity to rise up once again.

In the closing seconds before halftime of Chetopa’s high school basketball game against Southeast-Cherokee on Dec. 11, Cadin Duggan’s life would take a traumatic turn.

The ball was going out of bounds on the opposite side of the floor when Duggan dove out in the stands to try and save it. He lost control as he lunged forward and hit the bottom row of the bleachers.

“He was conscious, but you could tell he was pretty banged up,” Chetopa High School’s head basketball coach Rick Aldridge said.

Ambulances rushed Duggan to a local hospital as he was put on a ventilator to help him breathe. Duggan was eventually life flighted to a hospital in Tulsa where X-rays revealed he had a small fracture and tear in his Larynx.

“He was on a breathing tube, breathing for life, that was the first time I got to see him after the accident and that’s what I walked into the room to,” Cadin’s mother Carla Duggan said. “And today, where he is, is just amazing. It’s a blessing.”

Doctors prepared for the worse, but were amazed at what they saw during surgery because moments later, Duggan came out breathing on his own. Some called it a ‘minor miracle,’ but it was a moment expressed by few words.

“It’s just he had somebody looking out for him, that’s all I can say, because it could have been so much worse,” Cadin’s mother continued. “But I’m thankful that he’s here with me, he’s here with all of us.”

Duggan is expected to recover without any further procedures. Aldridge says the plan is to ease Cadin in when it comes to getting back on the court. They do have a target date, if all goes well in the recovery process, following after the New Year on Jan. 12.

“I’ve never experienced that type of level of injury in a sport before so it’ll take a little bit to keep calm if he does his normal running out of bounds and hustling the way he does,” Aldridge said. “So, it’ll be a little nerve-wracking, but it’s going to be a great victory for us.”

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