Updated: 05/17/2014 8:14 PM
Created: 05/17/2014 1:42 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
Isaac Kolstad, a former college football player who was allegedly kicked in the head during a fight in Mankato last Sunday, is fighting for his life.
Doctors said Kolstad had a skull fracture on the left side of his head after the fight. He also was suffering from bleeding of his brain, brain swelling and shifting, along with deterioration of his lungs from a lack of oxygen, doctors told investigators.
Kolstad first underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday. Doctors removed a significant amount of brain tissue after the bruising and swelling had increased the pressure in his skull to life-threatening levels, according to Kolstad's family.
His family said the 24-year-old had another surgery Friday to help manage his breathing at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
He is currently on life support in a medically-enduced coma, the family said.
Police arrested 20-year-old Philip Nelson, a former University of Minnesota quarterback from Mankato, early in the morning on May 11, just after the assault. Nelson has been accused of kicking Kolstad in the head.
He is facing two felony assault charges and is currently out on $20,000 bail.
Police also arrested 21-year-old Trevor Shelley, after witnesses came forward with information. Shelley is accused of delivering a punch to Kolstad that knocked him to the ground.
The Kolstad family gave the following statement on Saturday:
Isaac remains in critical condition at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
Due to the injuries Isaac sustained early last Sunday morning, his brain had severe bruising and swelling, increasing the pressure within his skull to life-threatening levels. In order to relieve the swelling, he required emergency surgery on his brain early Tuesday morning. Isaac had a significant amount of his brain tissue that was no longer viable removed during that procedure.
Even though the surgery was successful, the swelling in Isaac’s brain remains significant; leaving him at high risk for further injury and potentially additional surgical procedures. Isaac’s lungs also sustained severe injury, resulting in the inability to breathe on his own. He also sustained a lack of oxygen to his brain.
Isaac continues to be in a medically induced coma, utilizing life support to keep him breathing. Yesterday, Friday, May 16, Isaac underwent his second major surgery, a Tracheotomy operation. This helps manage his breathing while on life support.
Isaac’s care team of neurosurgeons, physicians, nurses, therapists and others are doing everything they possibly can each day to keep Isaac alive and fighting. We are blessed to have Mayo Clinic care so close to home for Isaac. There is no doubt in our minds he is receiving the very best care available.
We want to thank everyone for their support and ongoing efforts to help our family. We cannot begin to express our gratitude. As Mankato natives, we are so proud of our community and are incredibly inspired by the things going on around us. Your continued prayers and encouragement are needed and greatly appreciated.
We would ask members of the news media and others to continue to respect our request and need for privacy at this time. We have requested that no further information (beyond his medical condition) be released. Thank you for your understanding and continued thoughts and prayers for Isaac, our family and all others who are involved in this situation.
The Kolstad Family