Magomed Abdusalamov could leave hospital for home care
Brain-damaged Russian heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov could soon be released from the Helen Hayes Hospital’s rehabilitation facility in West Haverstraw, N.Y., in favor of home care, the fighter’s attorney, Paul Edelstein informed RingTV.com on Monday.
“He is scheduled to hopefully get out of Helen Hayes this month and either into a home care system or an outpatient clinic,” said Edelstein. “We’re not really sure which one it’s going to be but he is hopefully getting out of Helen Hayes this month. We’re hoping to get him into a home environment whereby therapists can come to his home and treat him and he can make visits to doctors.”
Edelstein is representing the family of Abdusalamov, which filed a lawsuit in March against multiple parties – including New York State Athletic Commission doctors and New York’s Madison Square Garden – alleging recklessness, gross negligence and medical malpractice.
“The idea is to train his wife to care for him and home because he still can’t feed himself, dress himself or clean himself, walk or talk,” said Edelstein. “So you bring in the therapists for occupational and speech therapy, to some degree, like in the video where you see him hitting the balloon…Those are the kinds of repetitive things that he needs to do and a lot of that can be accomplished in a home environment.
Abdusalamov, 33, suffered brain trauma during a brutal beating by Mike Perez in a 10-round fight in November at Madison Square Garden. Abdusalamov was placed in a medically-induced coma by doctors at New York’s St. Luke’s Hospital until early December.
Abdusalamov, who suffered a broken jaw and hand during the bout, complained to his corner about feeling pain in those areas throughout much of the contest. He also complained to commission doctors that he was experiencing pain in his head immediately after the fight
On Monday, promoter Main Events announced that WBO light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev is auctioning fight-worn autographed memorabilia from his last fight, a second-round stoppage of Blake Caparello on August 2.
“I trained with Magomed,” said Kovalev. “He is my friend and a good man. This is a tragedy. I just want to help him and his family.”
Edelstein said Abdusalamov’s family is grateful for the many contributions the fighter has received from the boxing community and others but that the cost of his care is astronomical.
“His medical bills right now are at approximately at $1 million and I would say that that’s going to continue for the rest of his life. He is always going to need medical attention. So it’s fantastic that people are stepping up and what they’re willing to do for him and the caring that is going on in the boxing world, particularly from boxers. That’s great. But if I was a boxer donating this money, like [Kovalev]’s doing, I would also be giving some thought that something is wrong here that this has to be done for professional guys. We’re not talking about an amateur fight that is not sanctioned,” said Edelstein.
“We’re talking about a professional fight. Anyone of these fighters could be in the same situation that my guy is. Financially wrecked, health-wise wrecked, family wrecked. Anybody. One punch can do it. Now you all get in the ring knowing that you can get killed or brain damaged. That can happen. They all get into the ring knowing that from one punch, I can be brain damaged or I can be dead. But do they all know that there is a possibility that there may be nobody there to take care of my family because of the medical bills. Do they step into the ring knowing that? I don’t think so.”