Maxed-Out Ins: Paralyzed (former) High School Football Player Dies at 27

chicagotribune.com
Paralyzed high school football player dies at 27

By Ryan Haggerty
Tribune reporter
8:42 PM CST, January 5, 2012

A former running back for Eisenhower High School who was paralyzed during a game in 2000 died this evening at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Rasul “Rocky” Clark, 27, died after undergoing surgery, hospital spokeswoman Susan Fine said.

Clark was 16 and a backup running back for Eisenhower on Sept. 15, 2000, when he was tackled and suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and a spinal injury.

For nearly a decade, Clark enjoyed superb medical care — nurses in his home around the clock, access to pain medicines and prescriptions and a storeroom of supplies.

But in August 2010, Clark was informed his $5 million health insurance had reached its maximum and would no longer cover his medical needs.

Since then he relied on Medicaid and his mother, Annette, who performed the work that three nurses used to do.

“I was told I’d be taken care of all of my life,” Clark, who surpassed the life expectancy for most quadriplegics, told the Tribune last year. “That was one thing that brought me comfort. I knew I’d be OK.

“Now it seems like I’m being penalized for living too long. That’s how I see it.”

rhaggerty@tribune.com
Twitter @RyanTHaggerty

Article Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-paralyzed-high-school-football-player-dies-at-27-20120105,0,5693823.story

Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

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