Isaac Kolstad likely won't need additional brain surgeries - KMSP-TV

Isaac Kolstad likely won't need additional brain surgeries

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MANKATO, Minn. (KMSP) - Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State University-Mankato linebacker who was critically injured in an assault in Mankato in early May, likely won't need any further brain surgeries as his brain swelling is continuing to decrease, his family said.

Former Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson, 20, and Trevor Shelley, 21, of St. Peter, are both facing first- and third-degree felony charges in connection with the assault.

Late Wednesday night, Kolstad's brother-in-law Mike Fleming posted to his CaringBridge page, and said Kolstad continues to tolerate being off of the sedation medications and is breathing on his own. He still remains in a coma.

"He has been receiving high doses of pain and relaxant medications over the last week, which have been very helpful in keeping him calm and stable. This has allowed Isaac the much needed time to rest and heal. The swelling in Isaac’s brain has decreased even more and we are told by his physicians we are now “out of the woods” for needing additional brain surgeries to repair damage from the injuries or other post-operative complications he was at risk for, but thankfully avoided.

Miracles are truly happening. Every day we are seeing small signs of improvement, small victories of potential recovery. To put it into perspective, when Isaac arrived in the Emergency Room on the night of his injury the physician’s scored him according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. The scale is scored 3-15. That night, Isaac scored a 3. His neurosurgical team of Mayo Physicians, both here in Mankato and in Rochester who were working as a team for his case, informed us that through their experience and through outside research, 97% of cases that arrive with scores below 5 do not survive or are left in a vegetative state. There was little hope that he would make any type of recovery. But right now, our Isaac is in the 3%, he is surviving. We are so hopeful that Isaac will continue to heal, continue to show us that he is working so hard, and continue to beat the odds. The tremendous support and love, the so many people who have reached out to our families, the prayers and positive thoughts have truly gotten Isaac this far. We again, can never thank you enough, and please continue to think and pray for all of those involved, we truly believe it will get Isaac to the recovery he had so small of a chance of reaching.



Kolstad began working for Fastenal, located in Mankato, in January -- but in that short span of time, he definitely made an impression on his employer. Fastenal organized a live and silent auction to raise money for the family's medical costs, and by the end of the night, auction attendees had helped raise more than $62,000 for the Kolstad family.

Several impressive items began pouring in once word spread:

- A box of cigars from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's 1,000th win
- Autographed Ted Williams print
- Baseball bats from Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau
- Jerome Simpson's game-used cleats
- A signed Grandlund jersey from the Minnesota Wild
- A basketball signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves
- A signed football from Bud Grant

All winning bids will be deposited directly to the Kolstad fund on

The Kolstad family told Fox 9 News the lawyer they have hired will be responsible for multiple things, including future civil lawsuits and ensuring the money raised goes to the proper fund.

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