Live Oak —
A Suwannee High School wrestler who was struck by a vehicle on Friday, Jan. 31 as he was jogging east on CR 252 is recovering from his injuries and “doing fine”, SHS wrestling coach David Laxton reported this morning.
According to Laxton, Dean Shingola is doing remarkably well for a young man who’s suffered a punctured lung, a broken leg, a cracked kidney and had his spleen removed.
“They put a rod in his left leg yesterday (Feb. 2),” said Laxton. “It broke in two places.”
Dean, 16, was jogging in the eastbound travel lane of CR 252 at 99th Lane around 7 p.m. Friday when a vehicle, also traveling eastbound, struck him. Dean was airlifted to Shands Gainesville in critical condition. No charges have been filed against the driver. According to FHP, Dean was reportedly wearing dark colored clothing.
Laxton said surgeons were going to put a soft cast on Dean’s right ankle. He said they were going to put pins in the ankle, but determined it wouldn’t be necessary. Laxton said Dean had a breathing tube to help in place of the punctured lung.
“The tube lets all the excess air between the lung cavity and the lungs, so it can inflate back up,” said Laxton. “They put the tube in there so the outside pressure will be less than the inside pressure of the lung which causes it to inflate again.”
Laxton said he wasn’t sure what the term “cracked kidney” actually meant, but said Dean’s kidney seems to be fine and functioning properly.
Laxton said it might be about six weeks before Dean would be able to get back on his feet and this would be after undergoing therapy.
“Like I said, he’s doing fine,” said Laxton. “I was just talking to him.”
Laxton has visited Dean several times in the hospital and he and many SHS and Columbia High School wrestlers visited Dean on Saturday following a wrestling tournament where Suwannee placed as district runner-up.
“I’m thankful he’s alive, of course he’s just a kid and all he’s thinking about is wrestling,” Laxton said. “He said, ‘coach, I’m not going to be able to wrestle for awhile, but I know you need an assistant coach. I’ll make you a good assistant coach.’”
Laxton told him that would be fine because, “Good help is hard to come by.”
Dean was named SHS wrestler of the week last week. He is a sophomore at SHS who started wrestling in the seventh grade and held a record of 23-7. Dean placed second at the North Florida Conference this year and during his eight grade year his record was 41-1 with 39 pins. In the eighth grade conference finals match, Dean pinned his opponent in 16 seconds, earning him the conference champion.
Dean has won several other titles including district champion, placing third at regions and even becoming a state qualifier. He recently placed first in the 126 pound weight class at the Seminole Invitational at Florida High School.