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RMU’s Comeback Kid

As a quarterback for the Colonials, Camdin Crouse ’09 had to overcome challenging defenses. Now he’s facing a whole new challenge: learning to live with one leg.

On May 3 of this year, Crouse, now a graduate assistant quarterbacks coach at Robert Morris, was on a recruiting trip when he and his friend, Jimmy Brooks, decided to stop to do a little fishing in Snow Shoe, Pa.

On the way home that evening in their all-terrain vehicle, Crouse swerved to avoid a downed limb, and their ATV lost control on the rain-slicked surface and crashed. Crouse suffered a compound fracture in his left leg and was in danger of bleeding to death. Fortunately Brooks was able to apply a tourniquet to the wound using a trout stringer they found in Crouse’s fishing vest. He then lifted his friend onto the damaged vehicle, and the two of them headed for the nearest home.

Less than an hour later, Crouse was taken by helicopter to a trauma unit in Altoona; two days later he was transferred to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

The doctors did what they could to save Crouse’s leg, but on May 14 they decided to amputate it below the knee. Then, on May 21, a bacterial infection caused Crouse to go into septic shock, forcing the doctors to amputate above the knee.

Since the accident, Crouse has endured a dozen surgeries and received over 25 units of blood. Miraculously, he is improving every day and his spirits are high. However, now he and his family are faced with skyrocketing medical bills. The type of prosthetic leg that Crouse needs starts at around $55,000; his insurance will only cover a fraction of that. He also has to cover the costs of a month-long hospital stay and the ongoing procedures he’ll face as he continues to recover.

Fortunately, Crouse’s RMU family has come to his aid. Robert Morris head football coach Joe Walton raised $10,000 at his annual spring golf outing. Crouse’s professors are also helping him complete his graduate courses online, so that he can stay on track and complete his master’s degree in instructional leadership by this August.

Once his medical expenses are paid, Crouse plans to start The Camdin Crouse Foundation as a way to help others dealing with similar medical issues. He also hopes to inspire others by sharing his experiences as a motivational speaker.

“You never see yourself losing a limb,” says Crouse. “And then, when it happens, you have two ways to go—positive or negative. I am blessed to always have been a positive person, and I have taken this as my calling.”

In about a month Crouse will receive a temporary prosthetic leg, with a permanent one to come hopefully by the end of the year. As of now, his goal is to return to be back coaching in time for the Colonials upcoming season.

Todd Hamer, RMU’s head strength and conditioning coach, is confident that Crouse will be back on the sidelines soon. “Cam is a good kid who always worked hard, staying here every summer to improve his game and working hard to become better every day. I hope to see him back up and coaching in August.”

Through this experience, Crouse says he has been humbled by all the support he’s received from friends, family, and even strangers. “You never know how many people care about you until something like this happens,” he says. “They can take my leg, but they can’t take my heart or charisma.”

Written by Valentine J. Brkich

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If you would like to support Camdin, you can make a donation at his website. (Please make all checks out to his mother, “Wendy Crouse”.) You can also wish him well on his Facebook page.

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