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Always A Fire: A Short Documentary Film On Former New York Giant Chad Jones
September 8, 2012 5:41 AM   Subscribe

The short documentary Always A Fire (vimeo) "details Chad's incredible rehabilitation and recovery from the horrific accident that nearly cost him his life. Comprised of intimate interviews with Chad and his trainers, as well as never-before-seen footage of his long road to recovery, the film provides an unflinching view of an elite athlete facing unimaginable tragedy and refusing to submit." [via mefi projects]
posted by the young rope-rider (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The technology they use for his training is really fascinating. Anti-gravity treadmill!
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:44 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The video contains very graphic imagery of open wounds. FYI.
posted by dfriedman at 7:00 AM on September 8, 2012


Between 2:00-2:20, contains images of his leg, which "looked like someone had taken a hatchet to it".

Medical knowledge and technology is amazing. How they were able to close those giant wounds, heal the torn up muscles and for his leg bones to heal how they have (when they were essentially shattered into pieces) is just amazing to me. He was waived by the Giants this past May, but I really hope he gets another shot in the league.
posted by marcusesses at 7:14 AM on September 8, 2012


I wonder if he'd be interested in playing baseball, or if he'd be able to do that with his injury. I was wondering where all the super-expensive equipment was coming from; looks like the Giants are funding a lot of his training and recovery.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:17 AM on September 8, 2012


that footage of his leg after it scarred over, it looked like zombie makeup from a movie.

a good reminder that whatever horrible circumstances people go through that puts them in the public eye, that road to recovery is usually not documented and is frequently hellish. seems like a miracle because we only see the final product. gabby giffords comes to mind as well.

best of luck to chad jones.
posted by twist my arm at 7:38 AM on September 8, 2012


Chad Jones was on national championship teams in baseball (2009) and football (2007) while playing for my alma mater, LSU: bio at LSUSports.net. I hope that has a chance to play in the NFL again, but even if he doesn't he's made an incredible recovery. I expect that he'll be successful whatever path he chooses because of his incredible willpower and discipline.
posted by wintermind at 7:41 AM on September 8, 2012


Wow, thanks for posting, the young rope-rider - very inspirational story. Superlative work by "Mefi's own" Nathan Caswell - I hope it brings a lot of attention to Chad's courageous story. It also reminds me I need to check Mefi Projects more often.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:25 AM on September 8, 2012


I wonder if he'd be interested in playing baseball, or if he'd be able to do that with his injury.

Chad told us that baseball was his first love and actually came more natural to him growing up -- it wasn't until he experienced football in front of the crowd at LSU that he decided he wanted to focus on that. So baseball is definately still an option. We were told that there would always be interest in a left handed pitcher that throws low to mid 90s with a good breaking ball. Being left handed, however, means that his injured leg is his post leg (which is used to generate momentum toward the plate). So it depends on how his leg holds up in a bullpen session.

How they were able to close those giant wounds, heal the torn up muscles and for his leg bones to heal how they have (when they were essentially shattered into pieces) is just amazing to me.

I wish we'd been able to get a bit more in depth on this (perhaps in a longer piece). There was a vascular transplant from his right leg to his left that allowed Chad to keep his left foot (there was discussion about amputation on site and in the ER). The long, clean wound on his calf is a surgical incision. The way it was explained to me, there is a casing on the muscle "just like a sausage casing" that needed to be removed in order to bring down the swelling. They may have also needed access for the titanium tib/fib implant or the vein transplant but I'm not sure. Once the wounds healed, the biggest issue with re-learning how to run was nerve damage, because he initially couldn't feel the bottom of his foot. That's the most shocking thing to me, the amount of damage to his heel.

I was wondering where all the super-expensive equipment was coming from; looks like the Giants are funding a lot of his training and recovery.

The Giants have been extremely supportive of Chad. I believe that all of his surgeries (there have been more than a dozen) were covered by them, including the surgery in May to remove the titanium tib/fib complex. They brought him with them to the White House to meet Obama after they won the Super Bowl, they let us shoot in MetLife Stadium basically for free. I came away from the project with really a tremendous amount of respect for the organization.

The anti gravity treadmill was purchased by Southern Orthopedics at the suggestion of John Moran (Chad's physical therapist), who was researching devices that might help Chad's rehab. It was first used for Chad but has become a part of their general practice. I tried it, it is super fun to run in.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:39 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


What team owns his baseball rights?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:02 PM on September 13, 2012


He was drafted by the Astros out of highschool, then again by the Brewers out of college (2010). So I guess Milwaukee? Not sure how the rights retaining works.

He was also on Jim Rome yesterday but I didn't catch it... When more than a clip hits the web I'll link it here.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:37 AM on September 14, 2012


Thanks for the extra information, nathancaswell. I really loved this and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:26 AM on September 14, 2012


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