I just got off the phone with Dave Griffiths, who filled me in on some details about the timeline between Burnard’s injury and the emergency surgery he faced last night.
As he was being taken in an ambulance to the trauma center in Moreno Valley by the on-site EMS personnel at San Jacinto High School, Burnard was awake and aware, talking to his parents. He continued to talk with Griffiths and the Big Bear coaching staff and administration, which quickly made the trip to the trauma center at the conculsion of the game. At that point, Burnard was awake and conversing, asking the coaches about how the rest of the game went.
“He wanted to know how it ended,” Griffiths said. “We were talking about the game and things in general when his status went downward. We thought he was taken in for observation for a possible concussion and were shocked to see his condition go in that direction.”
Burnard lost consciousness and went into surgery, which took what Griffiths said was a few hours. The Big Bear contigent accompanied the Burnard family throughout the night, staying with the family until the neurologists came out of surgery.
“This is such a tough thing for everyone in the Big Bear community,” Griffiths said. “Sutton is one of the best young men I’ve ever come in contact with and you never want to see something like that happen to anyone, much less a great kid like him. I’ve never heard anyone say a critical thing about Sutton.”
Burnard made it through the surgery and is resting in ICU, where he has been all day today and where he will be for an undetermined amount of time as he undergoes further testing. According to Griffiths, Burnard has shown signs of improvement and has squeezed his father’s hand.
Griffiths returned to Big Bear Saturday to meet with his players and give them a status report on Burnard. He is planning on going back down to the trauma center Sunday to stay with the Burnard family and relay updates to a concerned Big Bear High School community, who is rallying behind Burnard with get-well cards and posters.
“You just want to make sure he’s OK and he makes it,” Griffiths said. “All you can do is sit and wait and hope for the best. Everyone is praying for Sutton right now.”
As far as the injury itself, the Big Bear coaching staff has gone over the film and still hasn’t positively identified which play it happened and how it might have been caused.