Keaton Furry doing well after brain surgery

Keaton Furry, the North Star wrestler who underwent brain surgery hours after competing in the District 5 Dual Meet Championships last weekend, is recovering well, according to his coach and family members.

The mass that was found on his brain was not cancerous, doctors told the 126-pound senior’s family. It is believed that the cyst has been on his brain for much of his life, possibly all of it. It had grown to about 1 centimeter in diameter before it was removed during a five-hour surgical procedure known as a craniotomy on Sunday.

“Thankfully they have not found any cancer and seem happy with his progress,” said his aunt, Amy. M Nielsen, who posted updates to PA Power Wrestling’s Facebook page. “Keaton will be in intensive care for a while, but when awake he seems in pretty good spirits and his cognitive function seems good.”

Reaching his goals

North Star coach Tim Rosa said that the 17-year-old was talking about his desire to go hunting, which is one of his passions. Wrestling also has been a longtime passion for Furry, who won a District 5 title last year and was a state qualifier in 2016.

Nielsen said that Furry had two goals for his senior season: to record his 100th career victory and to be selected to compete in the Border Brawl Mason-Dixon Wrestling Classic. He picked up his milestone victory at the WestPAC championships in January and, a few weeks later, was invited to wrestle in the all-star match, which pits Pennsylvania seniors against their counterparts from Maryland and West Virginia, late last month.

While he won’t be able to compete in the match, Border Brawl organizers have said that, if he’s able, they would love to have Furry serve as an honorary coach for Team PA.

“That’s really nice,” Nielsen said. “I think it will be difficult for him to never wrestle again. It’s been such a huge part of his life and passion. So that will be nice ‘closure’ for him.”

Furry’s fortitude

Furry went 1-1 on Saturday, as did his team. The Cougars beat Berlin Brothersvalley in the district semifinals before losing to state power Chestnut Ridge in the finals Saturday afternoon. Multiple sources said that Furry didn’t wrestle quite like himself. Hours later, it became evident why.

He complained of a massive headache and started to slur his words and experience numbness in his legs. His mother took him to Somerset Hospital and, after tests showed a serious problem, he was transferred to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he underwent surgery shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday.

“It’s a testament to how tough he really is,” Rosa told The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown. “The doctors were amazed that he was awake, let alone wrestled two matches (Saturday).”


The wrestling community, as it always seems to do, has rallied behind one of its own. The Facebook post on PA Power Wrestling’s page has reached nearly 130,000 people in less than 48 hours, with more than 1,000 shares and over 600 comments from well-wishers.

In District 5, North Star’s rivals are going to bat for Furry. Many of the coaches have told Rosa that they are going to be selling T-shirts – often with a #KeatonStrong theme – to help raise money to offset the family’s expenses, and at least one team plans to wear logos on their headgear honoring him.

We’ll do our best to update this post with how you can show support for Furry in the future.

If anyone would like to send an E-card with well wishes forKeaton Furry they can do so by going to: Room number: 779

Anyone who would like to send a paper card can do so by mailing it to: 
Keaton Furry 
Care of: Allegheny General Hospital
320 E North Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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