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Doctors: Unclear Whether Three Injured Acrobats Will Walk Again

By Bill Shields, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Bill Shields
Bill Shields is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. He...
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS/AP) — The medical professionals treating the acrobats who fell during a circus performance in Rhode Island say time will tell whether three of the women will walk again.

Timothy Babineau, CEO of Rhode Island Hospital’s parent company, said Wednesday the eight injured acrobats are determined to heal as quickly as possible and return to doing what they love.

“They show a tremendous amount of spirit, “ said hospital President Dr. Tim Babineau, “and they have a great desire to return to work.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

WBZ NewsRadio 1030

circus Doctors: Unclear Whether Three Injured Acrobats Will Walk Again
WBZ NewsRadio 1030

 

“Two lives were at risk, so we operated on them first,” said Dr. David Harrington.

Most of the injuries were spinal fractures, three of them critical.

”This will take some time, so we cannot speak specifically to the long term prognosis,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Adetokunbo Oyelese.

Dr. Roman Hayda said, “they fell almost 35 to 40 feet, which in some cases could prove fatal. But none of our patients are going to die.”

Doctors say it may be a year or two before it’s clear whether they’ll heal completely and walk again.

Doctors say some of the acrobats could be released within days but all will require therapy. The women want to undergo rehabilitation as a team.

The accident happened during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performance Sunday when a clamp suspending the performers, failed.

 (TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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