Sickness Didn't Stop Kirk From Standing Tall
Donnavan Kirk played against Auburn last Friday after being being treated for a stomach virus at Auburn's student medical center.

Dec. 5, 2012

CHICAGO – Donnavan Kirk won’t soon forget the ordeal he went through late last week.

It all began last Friday morning when he woke up in his hotel room in Auburn, Alabama with a sick feeling in his stomach. There’s nothing worse than starting the day with your head propped over the toilet.

At the team breakfast, DePaul trainer Jeff Carrico advised the junior center to try eating a plain biscuit washed down by a mixture of Gatorade and water. Not long after, Kirk got sick again and the body aches were getting worse.

In less than 12 hours, Kirk and his DePaul teammates were playing Auburn in the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge.

Kirk’s challenge was to simply make it through the day.

“I’ve had the flu and a stomach virus before, but it’s never been this bad,” Kirk said. “I tried to live on crackers and ice chips. The night before, I ate a lot and was fine. The next morning, it hit me like a rock.

“At shoot around, I told myself that no matter what, I’m playing. I told Jeff that maybe I needed IV treatment to restore some fluids to my body.

“He made all the arrangements and took me to the Auburn student medical center. They were so nice. They gave me three IVs and some medicine to help calm my stomach. I laid down for a long time, and we stayed there for almost four hours. Jeff stayed with me the whole time. He’s an awesome dude.

“There were still body aches, but I wouldn’t be of any help to my team being out. I just had to get through it.”

Carrico is writing a thank-you letter to the medical staff at Auburn for its accommodating treatment.

“I met with the Auburn physician assistant and asked for a recommendation of a physician who could administer IVs to Donnavan,” Carrico said. “Everybody at Auburn was tremendously helpful. I know some schools that would’ve told us to visit the emergency room of a local hospital.



“Instead, we went to Auburn’s student medical center and they knew exactly what we needed. We were able to see a physician who deals with athletes and knew we needed something quick. They gave Donnavan three bags of IV fluid and he began feeling a little better. They gave us a prescription. They couldn’t have been more helpful.”

Later that night the Blue Demons topped Auburn 80-76 as Kirk played 25 minutes and contributed seven points, three rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.

“I’m so happy I played and we won the game,” Kirk said. “I’m sure I would have felt worse if we lost. I’m so glad my teammates were there and supported me. Cleveland Melvin (21 points, 10 rebounds), Brandon Young (19 points) Worrell Clahar (11 points), the coaching staff and our trainer played important roles in getting that game.

“During the pregame layup lines almost every time I’d run by our bench, Jeff was standing there with a cup of water so I could take a drink. That really helped.

“I was hoping once the adrenalin of playing in the game kicked in that it would help with the pain. That didn’t work. I still felt the body aches, especially when I banged into people and then sat down for a while.

“I tried to do as much as I could in the game. It was just enough to help us get by. My teammates were huge. Jeff was huge. I never felt nauseous during the game.”

After such an upsetting start to his day, Kirk had quite a turnaround.

“It was our first road win of the year, and it came against an SEC team,” he said. “That win gave us a better chemistry, a better bond. It’s going to help us with our confidence.

“The virus was still there on Saturday, but I started feeling a lot better by Sunday. I hope I never feel that sick ever again.”

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