Doc­tor pushed for brain surgery for tragic boxer

A&E con­sul­tant told by neu­ro­sur­geons that Mike Tow­ell’s in­jury was ‘un­sur­viv­able’

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - ASHLIE MCANALLY

An A&E con­sul­tant told the in­quiry into the death of Scot­tish boxer Mike Tow­ell he was “sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed” sur­geons felt they could not op­er­ate.

Ryan Con­nelly, 37, said Mr Tow­ell was “pro­foundly un­con­scious” when he ar­rived at the emer­gency depart­ment of Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary and was given an emer­gency CT scan.

He said he went to phone a sur­geon be­cause “if any­thing was go­ing to save his life it would be im­me­di­ate neu­ro­surgery”.

How­ever, Mr Con­nelly said he was told “it was an un­sur­viv­able in­jury and would not be amenable to neu­ro­surgery”.

The emer­gency medicine doc­tor said he pushed for Mr Tow­ell to be trans­ferred to the Queen Eliz­a­beth Hospi­tal’s neu­ro­surgery in­ten­sive care unit.

Dr Christo­pher Green­halgh also de­scribed how he tended to Mr Tow­ell im­me­di­ately af­ter he col­lapsed in the ring, and trav­elled with him to hospi­tal af­ter the boxer had fallen un­con­scious.

The doc­tors gave ev­i­dence for a sec­ond day at the probe into the 25-yearold fighter’s death at Glas­gow Sher­iff Court yes­ter­day.

Mr Tow­ell, from Dundee, died of a bleed on the brain the day af­ter he lost a bout in the fifth round to Welsh fighter Dale Evans on Septem­ber 29 2016.

Known as Iron Mike, the wel­ter­weight fighter col­lapsed af­ter his loss to Evans in the Bri­tish ti­tle elim­i­na­tor at Glas­gow’s St An­drews Sport­ing Club.

He was taken to hospi­tal but died 24 hours later on Septem­ber 30.

Dr Green­halgh said he en­tered the ring with Dr Ron­ald Syd­ney af­ter the fight stopped.

He said the boxer was con­scious, knew where he was and what day it was, and ini­tially obeyed in­struc­tions.

How­ever, Dr Green­halgh said Mr Tow­ell be­came un­steady and his speech in­co­her­ent and when they lay him on the floor, he fell un­con­scious.

Mr Con­nelly said when the 25-yearold ar­rived at the hospi­tal with the two doc­tors he was “pro­foundly un­con­scious” and did not open his eyes when they tried to stim­u­late through mild pain.

He said he de­cided to anaes­thetise him and give him a brain scan.

Mr Con­nelly said: “I could see the scan my­self, I was very quickly aware he had a sig­nif­i­cant in­jury to his brain.”

He said Mr Tow­ell had a large bleed in­side the top layer of his brain and sig­nif­i­cant in­tracra­nial swelling.

He said he suf­fered a mid­line shift, which meant the brain had been shifted from the left to the right by 13mm.

Mr Con­nelly said: “I ac­tu­ally left he CT scan room to phone the neu­ro­sur­geon.”

De­pute fis­cal Eileen Beadsworth asked what the spe­cial­ists’ re­sponse was.

He said he was told that “it’s an un­sur­viv­able in­jury he had and would not be amenable to neu­ro­surgery”.

Asked if he agreed, he said he did not think as a non-neu­ro­sur­geon it was his place to agree or dis­agree but said: “I was quite sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed they didn’t feel this was some­thing they could op­er­ate on.”

The in­quiry, be­fore Sher­iff Prin­ci­pal Craig Turn­bull, con­tin­ues.

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