David Rusko

David Rusko arrived at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in late December.

David Rusko’s family spent Christmas with him at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

"Me and my wife and other family members, we took turns – we can only have so many people back there – so we took turns going into his room," said Dave Rusko, David's father. 

On Friday, David Rusko, a WVU student who received a brain injury in November and spent the weeks since in intensive care, was moved to Georgia to receive care at the Shepherd Center.  

Initially, UPMC Health Plan, which provides health insurance, denied the transfer to the Georgia facility.

Dave Rusko said the transfer was approved on Wednesday.

“He loved West Virginia University,” Dave Rusko said. “He just loved it there. We’re just thankful that he’s still alive. We’ll just hope for the best.”

“Hopefully one day he can come there and finish his education,” he said.

David Rusko, a senior finance student from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, who was set to graduate in May, fell down the steps at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house while visiting his fraternity brothers on Nov. 10, according to a Nov. 15 WVU press release.

Officers discovered that more than two hours lapsed between Rusko’s fall and a 911 call for help, according to the release.

It was announced in the release that SAE and a number of students were put on interim suspension due to the incident.

WV MetroNews reported on Friday that WVU is still finalizing the details of an investigation into the matter.

Gina Pferdehirt, director of public relations of UPMC Health Plan, sent the Daily Athenaeum a statement that said the company does not comment on specific cases due to patient privacy issues.

“In general, we routinely assist our members to transfer from a hospital setting to other types of needed care when medically needed and when the patient is medically stable enough for a transfer to occur,” the statement said. “In all cases, patient safety and clinical care is our top priority.”

Editor in Chief

Douglas Soule is the editor-in-chief for the Daily Athenaeum. He previously served as assistant news editor at the Daily Athenaeum. He has interned at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, The Globe Post and the Daily Athenaeum. He is a senior at WVU.