Monday, September 24, 2012

Hall of Fame (part 2)

     Rollin Glewwe, high school football standout and down for the count......

     The other day, Rol in talking with his fellow teammate, Allan Stalmasik Elder , and mentioned that Allan had told him about what had happened during that Stillwater game back on Friday, October 13, 1950.  Allan remembers Rol playing the first half of the game and going back to the locker room during halftime.  While returning to the field, Rol had mentioned to Al that he was feeling woozy and was going to ask to sit out for the opening kickoff.  Al then told Rol that the next time he looked up, Rol was be taken off the field in an ambulance.
     Rol was taken to Riverview Memorial Hospital that night and for the next 10 days he would be a patient.  And while he was awake and resting, the problems persisted.  He would get weaker and his nosebleeds were increasing as the week wore on.  By the end of his ten day stay, he was losing all feeling in his body and was partially paralyzed.  The decision was made to transfer him to the Charles T Miller Hospital, also in St. Paul, MN. 

     It was here that Dr Robert L Merrick would make the discovery that had been keeping Rollin from recovering from his concussion.  Dr Merrick, who went on to become the chief neurosurgeon with the University of Minnesota, came in early Saturday morning and asked Rol if he was left-handed.  Up till now, the doctors had been looking for blood clots on the right hand side of the brain and would come up empty.  As Rol's condition was worsening, the doctors were stumped.  With Rol's answer in the affirmative, surgery was set up immediately with the doctors now looking on the left hand side of the brain.  It seems that left handed people's brains affect the function of the left hand side of the body.  The surgery took from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the afternoon.  Rollin was given many transfusions and what followed was many days of continual bleeding and convulsions.  His father, Reuben, wrote in his journal on November 2nd, that "Rol's speech was improving" and they were "very much encouraged."
    Rollin was released from the hospital on November 11, 1950, one month from when he took that first hit.

    But there is more to this story.  One about his great grandmother, Ursula Marxer, and one about the "S" Club and how this injury changed their mission.

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