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PORTLAND -- A picture of Steven Long shows the Portland State running back smiling in his hospital bed. That's pretty good for a guy who underwent brain surgery less than 24 hours earlier.
"Someone told me I wish we could have 50 guys like him," Vikings coach Nigel Burton said before Monday's spring practice. "But I said 'you can't. It's not possible.'"
Long began having seizures in his apartment in the early morning hours Wednesday before being taken to OHSU for further examinations. Tests revealed a small growth had developed on his brain and doctors elected to remove it immediately.
"I think I've lived over there. I know where to park. I just wave at the nurses now, we're on a first name basis," Burton joked of his frequent visits to see Long since he was admitted.
While doctors performed the surgery, his roommate Adam Futter performed the initial diagnostic heroics. Having had prior experience with seizures, Futter knew exactly how to handle the situation when he saw his friend was compromised.
"His eyes rolled into the back of his head, so I knew it was a seizure," Futter said. "At the time he was having trouble breathing, so I propped his head up and patted his back to see if he would cough up something, and he did," Futter continued. "After that he had a second seizure, so I had to leave him alone because you're not supposed to touch anyone when they have seizures."
It would probably be overly dramatic and somewhat presumptuous to assume Futter saved Long's life in that apartment. But his actions, which were wise both beyond his years and his education (he's a sophomore criminal justice major), certainly didn't hurt matters for Long.
"Adam Futter did an awesome job that night, and was really a great teammate and a great friend," said Burton.
And now thanks to Futter, Long can look forward to returning to the football field. While that probably won't happen for at least a few months, at least it's something they can all look forward to with great anticipation.
"I'm pretty happy about it. I'm glad I was part of his little rescue," Futter said.
Adam Futter's little rescue was actually pretty big. If you don't agree, just look at the photo of Steven Long in the hospital as he begins to recover.