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Isaac Kolstad, Initially Given Low Chance of Survival, Shows Improvement

Updated: 05/29/2014 4:16 PM
Created: 05/29/2014 11:14 AM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

Isaac Kolstad, a former college football player who was allegedly kicked in the head during a fight in Mankato earlier this month, is continuing to make strides in his recovery, according to family.

Doctors said Kolstad had a skull fracture on the left side of his head after the fight on May 11. He was also 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's family said on his CaringBridge site when he first arrived at the ER, doctors had given him less than a 3 percent chance of living. If the former Minnesota State, Mankato, student did survive, doctors said it was likely he would be in a vegetative state.

In the two weeks he's been in Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, Kolstad has had two major surgeries, family members say. Over the weekend, he was taken of sedation medication and life support.

Kolstad is still in a coma, but is stable and breathing on his own, his family said.

"Or Isaac is in the 3 percent," Mike Fleming, Kolstad's brother-in-law, wrote on his CaringBridge page. "He is surviving."

Doctors told Kolstad's family he will most likely not need another brain surgery because the swelling has gone down.

"Miracles are truly happening," Fleming wrote. "Every day we are seeing small signs of improvement."

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.

Nelson 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 before he was allegedly kicked.


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