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Quintero has operation; Connection vow to welcome back striker after lengthy impasse 

DIRECTV W Connection forward and former Trinidad and Tobago national youth team player Dwight Quintero finally underwent surgery on his right ankle yesterday, after a near two-month stand off between the player, his relatives and attorney and a Connection contingent that included Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president and ex-Connection chairman David John-Williams.

Oct. 30th 2015: during the Finals of the First Citizens Cup between Central FC and W. Connection at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. W. Connection won 2-1. Photo: Allan V. Crane
Oct. 30th 2015: during the Finals of the First Citizens Cup between Central FC and W. Connection at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. W. Connection won 2-1. Photo: Allan V. Crane

The operation was conducted on Saturday April 2 by Dr David Santana of the Caribbean Body Sculpture clinic in St Augustine.

Quintero had reconstructive ligament surgery and screws inserted into his foot. The initial prognosis was the forward, who helped Central FC to their maiden Pro League title last year, should be back on his feet within three months.

However, he will take an X-ray on Friday for a more accurate timeline.

Quintero’s mother, Lesley Ann Quintero, aunt, Tamara Fournillier, uncle, Rojér Fournillier, and girlfriend, Darnelle Mejias, were at the player’s side for the operation.

“The doctor said everything went very well,” said Quintero’s aunt, Nathalie Fournillier-Reyes, who is based in the United States. “They put in screws in his foot… His recovery is dependent on how his body responds to the whole thing. They are returning on Friday to remove the stitches and take an X-ray.”

Fournillier-Reyes said her nephew was relieved to have undergone the procedure and is anxious to resume his professional career. However, there is still anxiety as to what the operation might mean for his future in the game.

Photo: Referee Rodphin Harris (background) waves play on as W Connection striker Dwight Quintero (centre) tries to keep possession from North East Stars players Neveal Hackshaw (left) and Adrian Noel during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Referee Rodphin Harris (background) waves play on as W Connection striker Dwight Quintero (centre) tries to keep possession from North East Stars players Neveal Hackshaw (left) and Adrian Noel during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“My sister said the first thing he said after waking up from the procedure was: Am I going to play football again?” Fournillier-Reyes told Wired868. “He fell back asleep before they could answer and then he woke up and asked the same question again.

“When I spoke to him, I could hear the relief in his voice. The anaesthesia had worn out and he was in pain. But it sounded like I was talking to a new person and I could tell a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders.

“He is delighted that this is behind him and he is looking forward to a full recovery. He can’t wait to start physical therapy.”

Quintero has already received an email from Connection chairperson Renee John-Williams, which enquired about his condition and wished him a speedy recovery.

The sentiments were welcomed but, according to Fournillier-Reyes, also raised eyebrows within “Team Quintero” in the wake of a two month saga between the two parties. The family had complained that his employers showed a lack of care for the gifted attacker during his darkest moments.

Photo: W Connection assistant coach Earl Jean (left) barks orders at his squad while right back Shannon Gomez (right) prepares to take a throw during the 2015 Caribbean Cup final. Looking on is Central FC coach Terry Fenwick. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection assistant coach Earl Jean (left) barks orders at his squad while right back Shannon Gomez (right) prepares to take a throw during the 2015 Caribbean Cup final.
Looking on is Central FC coach Terry Fenwick.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Connection assistant coach, Earl Jean, insisted that the technical staff would welcome the former El Dorado East Secondary student back into their ranks.

“It is good to know the operation was successful because that was the most important thing,” said Jean. “Whatever issues the club had with Dwight and his attorney and aunt or whatever, he is our player. And Dwight is a player that we always wanted in our club.

“We don’t have any issues with Dwight and, once he wants to work with us, we will welcome him back with open arms.”

Quintero was injured at a Connection training session on 2 February 2016 and was urged to operate immediately by Dr Sergiy Adonin, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon from the Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic in St Clair.

However, Connection were slow to respond to messages from Quintero’s relatives and attorney Fulton Wilson, then insisted on a second opinion by TTFA medic Dr Terrence Babwah—which matched the initial diagnosis—before the TTFA President, acting on behalf of the club, refused to pay on the grounds of unspecified “grey areas.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

By his involvement, John-Williams arguably broke a campaign promise to not involve himself in Connection business, so as to avoid a conflict of interest between his two posts.

Connection reversed its stance on paying for Quintero’s operation within hours of the story going public on the Wired868 website on March 24. And the operation was eventually done on April 2.

Quintero and his relatives are said to be very nervous as to the possible ramifications of the lengthy delay in having the operation.

 

Dwight Quintero timeline

February 2: Quintero hobbles out of a W Connection training session and is taken to the hospital by his cousin, after a club official dropped him to meet his relative.

February 5: Dr Sergiy Adonin declares that the injury is serious and “likely to need surgery as soon as possible.” He recommends “urgent pre-operative on the right ankle” to determine the extent of the injury and “an orthotic device as soon as possible.”

Quintero’s attorney, Fulton Wilson, forwards the information to Connection chairperson Renee John-Williams, who is the daughter of the TTFA president. Frustrated by an inability to reach club officials, Quintero’s family paid the medical costs incurred thus far.

Photo: Former Central FC forward Dwight Quintero (left) tries to escape from North East Stars midfielder Keithy Simpson during a 2013/14 Pro League contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Central FC forward Dwight Quintero (left) tries to escape from North East Stars midfielder Keithy Simpson during a 2013/14 Pro League contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

February 8: The Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic gives Quintero an invoice for the necessary medical procedures, which totalled TT$48,700. This is also forwarded to Connection. Again, according to Team Quintero, there is no response.

February 15: W Connection finally makes an official response, as Renee requests a second opinion with a doctor of the club’s choice, Dr Terence Babwah.

February 25: Dr Babwah recommends surgery for Quintero and explains: “Due to the diastasis of the tibia and fibula he should see the orthopaedic surgeon again, (he) may need a screw to hold bones together.”

Quintero’s attorney sends diagnosis to Renee but, again, there is no response.

February 29: Quintero has a review consultation at the Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic and is advised to undergo surgery by a third doctor, Dr Derrick Lousaing. The Clinic advises the Connection employee to operate between March 4 and 9 when their foot and ankle surgeon would be in the country.

March 1: Renee says, via email, that Dr Lousaing’s diagnosis is “duly noted” and advises she is on maternity leave and is handing the matter over to her father and the TTFA president.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) presents a Wired868 token of appreciation to "Soca Warriors" supporter Peter Cumberbatch during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine on Saturday 2 January 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) presents a Wired868 token of appreciation to “Soca Warriors” supporter Peter Cumberbatch during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine on Saturday 2 January 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

March 8: On the day before the operation, Quintero’s attorney emails the TTFA president and urges him to take responsibility for the pending medical bill in keeping with clause eight of the player’s contract.

John-Williams refuses to do so in an emailed response: “Dear Sir, unless we have a discussion about this matter we cannot accept responsibility for paying the proposed bill. There are a lot of grey areas to be clarify (sic). I am prepared to meet as early as tomorrow to sort out the grey areas.”

March 14: The two parties still have not met and Quintero’s attorney vents his frustration: “The injury was sustained when he was working for W Connection and the clause said ‘we will take care of all medical cases’. There is no question in my mind that they have breached their contract with the player…

“What are the grey areas when a player sustains an injury while with the club and needs medical attention? They are throwing red herrings.”

March 24: Wired868 runs the first in an exclusive two-part series on Connection’s refusal to pay for Quintero’s operation. Within a few hours, Renee emails player’s attorney—at 9.24 am—and says the club: “has been working to have Dwight’s surgery scheduled with Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr David Santana who is available at 9 am next Tuesday 29th March…”

Photo: W Connection striker Dwight Quintero tries to relax at his home in Blanchisseuse. (Courtesy Nathalie Fournillier-Reyes)
Photo: W Connection striker Dwight Quintero tries to relax at his home in Blanchisseuse.
(Courtesy Nathalie Fournillier-Reyes)

March 25: Wired868 runs the second and final part of its exclusive series on Quintero’s impasse with the club, which reveals emails from both parties including TTFA president John-Williams.

April 2: Quintero undergoes surgery on his right ankle at the Caribbean Body Sculpture Ltd.

April 3: Connection assistant coach Earl Jean assures Wired868 that Quintero would be welcomed back at the club with open arms, as soon as he is fit to return.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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26 comments

  1. Earl Mango Pierre. I Knew Burt Quite Well. He was My Friend.

  2. Anthony and Carlos, I was just told that Quintero is still very shaken up. The family was told that when an injury like this goes untreated for so long, there can be a calcium build-up that can affect the fusing of the bone.
    So I won’t be praising the Connection just yet. I’d rather pray that he suffers no ill effect from the club’s horrific handling of this whole affair.

    • Lasana I can absolute relate to what he is experiencing, and the other component to this are the psychological hurdles that he may face…the surgery was done, but I hope someone is prepared to provide him with access to the best rehabilitation available…I remember seeing this player when he first “tried out” for Central and he is a talent…

    • I remember watching him and Rundell Winchester in the first year and saying one of those two bound to be on the national team by the end of the season.
      That player turned out to be Rundell. But Quintero is talented and go far once he learns how to operate in the box better.
      Praying for a full recovery. I will try to keep abreast.

  3. Now for the Rehab process so he can continue his career

  4. W Connection has reimbursed or plans to reimburse Quintero for his out of pocket expenses?

  5. With you Lasana Liburd. Our good president needs to ensure there’s no conflict of interest involving him and WC. The Quintero debacle suggest he’s still meddling in the affairs of the club.

  6. And well done to John Williams for stepping in and getting things handled…

    • Can’t support you there Anthony Sherwood. I’d rather be consistent where it came to matters of conflict of interest.
      If I applauded it here, I would have to do so in less savory instances too.
      I’d assume the Connection club board is there for a reason.

    • I know Lasana, at the end of the day I’m just glad that the kid’s going to be okay – as for the rest of it – well, that’s not my business…

    • Not my business…hhmm.. Lasana, I’m glad that finally something has happened. Keep us updated on his rehab.

    • Right now, the boy is terrified that his playing career can be over because of W Connection negligence. The person who spearheaded the affair for the club happens to also be the TTFA president.
      I can’t see how this wouldn’t be the business of anyone involved in football or who cares about football and national athletes.
      But I suspect you might have phrased that poorly Tony. If we are not our brothers’ keeper, then God help us.

    • It was poorly worded…what I mean is that I am ecstatic that the player has received his surgery, the fact that it took the President of the TTFA to handle it and how that relates to W Connection is none of my business…hopefully that makes sense.

  7. Better late than never. Even better to do it early in the first place!
    But at least it is done now. Hope everything works out and I’m glad that Earl Jean guaranteed the player will not be victimised for standing up for his rights. 😉

  8. I am really hoping that the surgery was successful and he will be back playing the professional football.

    • Yes. Definitely. He is a bright prospect.

    • Yeah and this also reminded me of our great Bert Neptune who represented the Army and our national team and when the Army was going on a tour, Neptune decided that he wasn’t going because a few senior players were bought tickets because of their longevity on the team and he being the great player that he was figured that he should also have gotten a ticket free and once he didn’t make the trip with them he ended up playing for our sweet country against Surinam and that was the end of his football career due to a brake foot that he got and instead of the corrupted TTFA and the Army come together and make certain that he was sent abroad to have the surgery done, the surgery was done in our sweet country and he never recovered and eventually he ended up on drugs and then passed away a few years after, hence the reason I am very skeptical about players who are gifted like Quintero and at his young age doing any surgery in our sweet country. don’t know if the doctors are really good down here.

    • The family was told that when an injury like this goes untreated for so long, there can be a calcium build-up that can affect the fusing of the bone. Quintero is pretty nervous. So we have to pray for him.

    • Oh lord Mango 🙁 yuh just send me into a state of depression lol …you and I need have a discussion on the power of positive thinking …good luck to the kid …really glad he had the surgery 🙂

    • hahaha ah read that book a very long time ago eh,”The power of positive thinking ” but dealing with many players for many moons eh and saw how injuries destroyed their football careers eh, I just had to share one of meh football stories eh. but I will keep him in my prayers and no weapon that is formed against him shall prosper eh.

  9. Happy to hear it’s worked out – his rehab is now critically important and determines if he gets back to his best…well done to Connection for getting this handled.