It’s been a rough week for Bellator women’s champion Zoila Gurgel, who first suffered a torn ACL in training and then realized that paying for the surgery to repair the injury would cost an exorbitant amount of money.
Well now sunnier skies appear overhead for Gurgel, whose bosses at Bellator Fighting Championships are assuring their champion that her surgery and recovery will be well taken care of over time.
“We said it from day one and I understand it because I was an athlete in college, I played football in college and I understand how injuries work. I understand that when you get an injury as an athlete you want everything to happen immediately and for the world to stop and get it fixed. It’s just human nature,” Rebney stated.
“I’ll say the same thing to you that we said to Zoila and to Jorge (Gurgel), we’re going to take care of it, we’re going to get you through this and we’re going to get it covered by insurance and all of it will be covered. All of it will be taken care of and it will be fine, it will get worked out and it will get taken care of, but those things don’t happen in the matter of a day, or 48 hours, or 72 hours.”
Rebney says that the company has been committed to helping Gurgel through this injury since the first moment it occurred, but because insurance and medical processes take time, it’s not something that can happen overnight.
“You have to go through a process, you have to fill out the paperwork, you have to take steps for it to get done. I understand the angst and the anxiety because as an athlete who lost half of his senior year playing as a full scholarship running back at a major college, I understand as an athlete you’re like ‘open me up, fix it, get it done right now’. But you’ve got to take a step back and a breath and say let the process work itself out,” said Rebney.
“Let the insurance take care of what needs to be taken care of, and it will be taken care of. We said it from the very start and we said it to her and we said it to her husband. We’ll get it worked out.”
Gurgel has stated that after visiting her doctors the knee injury will put her on the shelf without any kind of real activity for the better part of six months. With rehab and recovery time she’s likely to return in about a year’s time.
Obviously the time off is as painful as the actual injury when looking at mounting medical bills and lack of income from fighting. Rebney however has assured Gurgel that she will not be left behind in this process and her knee will be nursed back to health with the best possible care that can be provided.
“She’s had a serious injury, she’s had the kind of injury that’s going to take time to recuperate from. It’s not one of those injuries where you can get some therapy and it can kind of work itself out. It’s going to take time,” said Rebney. “But the essence of getting that situation taken care of the right way, the essence of giving her the best possible chance of getting back in the Bellator cage, is to take care of it with the right doctors, the right rehab, the right attention to detail. It’s not about rushing it and getting in the first person who agrees to cut the leg open. It’s about doing it the right way, and that’s the process that we’re trying to follow.
“If Zoila follows that process she’ll be given as good an opportunity as you can possibly have with the severity of the injury she has to recuperate fully.”
Rebney does his best to avoid getting too political when talking about the growing debate about the health care industry in the United States, but when it comes to Gurgel’s injury like anybody else’s, the time it takes can obviously be frustrating.
“Whatever your political opinion is on the medical system here in the U.S., I think we can all agree no matter what side of the fence we’re on that it isn’t fast,” Rebney stated. “You’ve got to work through the dynamics of getting it done and getting it done the right way.”
Gurgel has visited with her doctors and hopes to have the surgery done as soon as possible to decrease the amount of time she’ll be forced to the sidelines. Now with Bellator committed to her recovery as well, it appears this story will ultimately have a happy ending.