Mother of injured football player says mayor’s story was accurate

The mother of an injured Concordia football player confirms that her son did have to wait 16 hours before arm surgery due to hospital capacity.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Last week at a city COVID-19 press briefing, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird raised eyebrows when she shared a story a friend in the medical profession told her about the state of hospital capacity in the area.

“The doctor made four phone calls, only to find that all the hospitals were full, and the injured football player with bones sticking out to the skin of his arm, had to wait until the next day, over 16 hours to get his urgently needed surgery,” Gaylor Baird said.

Folks across the city wondered if that story could possibly be true, to the point where the mother of the athlete took to Twitter to address the situation.

“I knew immediately knew after she started talking about it, that it was Cole’s story,” said Jessie Coffey, the mother of injured Concordia football player Cole Coffey.

The Concordia wide receiver got hurt on the first play of practice, his mother said.

“He had a compound fracture, so that had dislocated and it had, you know, come out of the skin,” she said.

The problem? Due to staffing shortages, there were no operating rooms for him to get the treatment he needed in Lincoln.

The only other options were to go to Kansas, Auburn, Nebraska, or to wait. Cole stayed in the emergency room in Seward for 16 hours before he was able to get the surgery.

Jessie says as she was watching the mayor’s press conference, she saw people in the comments suggesting that the story was sensationalized.

“People saying, ‘that’s not true,’ that she made that up,” she said.

Channel 8 spoke with Gaylor Baird about the comments about the injured football player. She expressed that she didn’t want the specific details of Cole’s experience to overshadow the challenges health care systems are dealing with.

“The point of the story is that even if you’re vaccinated, even if you don’t believe in COVID, you could be affected by COVID because of the way that our hospitals are stretched right now,” Gaylor Baird said.

Coffey confirmed that the mayor’s account was accurate.

“There was nothing untrue about that story,” she said. “That was our experience and as the COVID cases continue to rise, I can’t imagine that it’s going to get any better.”

Coffey says her son has returned to class and is able to watch practices with coaches. Due to the injury, he’s still limited in his ability to write and do homework.

Cole will be able to medically redshirt, meaning that he won’t lose a year of college eligibility.

Categories: Coronavirus, Lancaster, Nebraska News, News