During the season-opener game between the Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills on September 7, 2007, Broncos kick returner Domenik Hixon caught the football in the end zone. As Hixon sped across the field, Bill’s tight end Kevin Everett gave chase, eventually hitting Hixon in a head-on collision. Hixon managed to get up, but Everett wasn’t so lucky. “I couldn’t move my arms, my legs, or anything,” Everett said during the ESPY Awards while accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
Paramedics rushed to the field. An ambulance followed shortly after. So does Dr. Andrew Cappuccino, the Bills’ spine specialist. While not sure if Everett would ever run again, Cappuccino ended up using the same procedure presented in “Dream a Little Dream of Me” to treat the athlete. Can’t believe it worked. “I’m going to pin a good chunk of my belief in this recovery to cold therapy,” Cappuccino said in a subsequent New York Times interview. “We don’t typically see this recovery in people with spinal cord injuries who don’t have cold therapy.”
Everett showed signs of movement a few days later and was able to walk with assistance after about a month. Just like on Grey’s Anatomy, the procedure saved Everett from being paralyzed for the rest of his life. “Nobody thought I would recover like this,” Everett also said during the ESPY Awards. “Don’t give up anything.”