Prichard Colon’s Long Road to Recovery

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After a fight with Terrel Williams in 2015, the remarkable boxer was left in a vegetative state and had an operation, prompting concern over his condition.

Who is Prichard Colon?

Prichard Colon Melendez is a professional boxer from the United States who won a gold medal at the 2010 Panamerican Youth Championship when he was seventeen years old. He was born in Maitland, Florida in 1993 to Nieves and Richard Colon, a retired serviceman.

Education

Colon studied Business Administration at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Career

His family moved from Florida to Puerto Rico in order for Prichard to box on the island at the age of ten.

Soon after winning gold at the 2010 Panamerican Youth Championships in the 64kg division, he went pro. He debuted as a pro with a 170-15 amateur record.

The fight that changed Prichard Colon’s life

Prichard faced Terrel Williams in a fight at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2012.

Williams defeated Prichard Colon, on a ninth-round disqualification after Williams knocked down Colon twice. Colon’s corner mistakenly removed his gloves believing it was the tenth and final round.

For a low blow, Prichard Colon was penalized two points by the referee, Joseph Cooper. Williams had a point deducted for rabbit punching.

Following the bout, Colon slipped into a coma for 221 days due to a brain bleed caused by the fight. He has since been confined to a bed and requires a wheelchair to move around.

Per the Guardian, he was conscious while leaving the ring but soon became dizzy and nauseous in his dressing room.

Soon after, on October 17, 2015, he had an operation to relieve pressure on his brain.

He has continued to receive occupational therapy at Brooks Rehabilitation in Orange Park, Florida.

Progress

To allow his brain to expand and heal, he required a left hemisphere craniotomy, the removal of part of his skull.

His mother, Nieves was told by a neurologist in September 2017 that she should not expect her son to get better than an unresponsive wakefulness state (UWS). However, Prichard later progressed to communicating with his eyes. He was able to answer yes/no questions in English and Spanish through the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device.

He began physical occupational therapy in June 2018. By January, he was able to do some shoulder movement, grasp and release pegs, and follow commands. Within a month, his hands got better and he was able to stand with assistance.

Prichard has since gone on a stroll of a football field with the help of therapists and some assistive equipment. He can also keep his balance while sitting unsupported for more than five minutes.

Reaction from Fans

A viral TikTok video about Prichard Colon was posted in June 2021. It was created by a person known as N1kemo123 had over 800,000 likes at the time. It showed before and after clips of the boxer with a caption which read, “Hope you get well one day Prichard,”

The boxer’s family has also been supported by a grassroots campaign entitled #PrayForPrichard. The page, which was created in 2016, shared photos and videos of Colon during his recovery. His family and friends have been supportive throughout his ordeal, and he continues to make small steps forward.

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