May 17, 2001
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Adam Taliaferro, the Penn State football player who suffered a serious spinal injury in September, returned to the University Park campus this week to resume taking classes.
Taliaferro is taking a freshman English composition course during Penn State’s first summer session, which began this week. He is scheduled to take two classes during the second summer session and three classes in the fall semester, which begins August 21.
“It’s great to be back on campus and getting back in the swing of things,” Taliaferro said. “It’s also been great getting back into the weight room and working out with everybody.”
Taliaferro’s recovery is nothing short of remarkable. A freshman cornerback from Voorhees, N.J., he was injured in the closing moments of the Penn State at Ohio State game on September 23, 2000. He received immediate expert medical attention on the field, and was transported to Ohio State Medical Center where he underwent successful spinal fusion surgery. On Sept. 27, he was transferred to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and was admitted to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia on October 6.
Before going to Magee, prospects for recovery appeared dim. However, his attending physician at Magee, Dr. William E. Staas, Jr., the Hospital’s President and Medical Director, was encouraged when neurological examination showed that Taliaferro’s spinal cord was functioning.
Despite a challenging initial prognosis, Taliaferro ended his inpatient stay at Magee on January 5. Using crutches, he left the hospital on his own two feet. He immediately continued his therapy at Magee as an outpatient. Due to his continuing improvement, his outpatient visits to Magee gradually decreased to three days a week, and the former Eastern HS standout is now able to walk without any assistance.
Taliaferro, 19, ended his outpatient rehabilitation at Magee on March 30 and is continuing his rehabilitation on his own, working out twice a day on campus.