Indiana football player Isaac Griffith is in a medically induced coma in a Florida hospital after a swimming accident today, according to his father.
Griffith was with friends on spring break in Sarasota.
Here is what his father, Shannon, the head football coach at Division III Manchester College, said on his twitter account late Monday night:
"My family needs all the prayers we can for our son Isaac who is in critical condition following a water accident involving a rip current
"My wife and I are boarding a plane to Sarasota to be by his side our faith in God is our strength. His condition is Stable but Still critical at this point in a medically induced coma to allow his lungs to heal ... "
Griffith is a 6-foot wide receiver from Fort Wayne Homestead. He was a redshirt at IU in the fall of 2013.
Griffith set his high school's records for receptions (119), receiving yards (2,453) and touchdowns (37).
He was an all-state selection as a senior.
"We are aware of Isaac Griffith's condition," IU said in a statement. "Our prayers are with Isaac and his family and we ask Hoosier Nation to keep the Griffith family in their thoughts."
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE
Isaac's dad tweeted out this update early this morning (Tuesday) on Isaac's condition:
"My wife, Kim, and I have been at Isaac's bedside since 2 AM we are encouraged with his progress in ICU but we have small battles to face and are asking for your thoughts and prayers. We have great care surrounding him, we have placed this battle in God's, and we look for the small battles he has over come.
His vitals are stable but we still need for continue prayer for his lungs. He is still in medical induce coma and on a ventilator to help his Lungs heal. My wife and I want to thank all that have reached out we are truly thankful for positive words and loving messages. I want to thank HoosierNation and players who have been with Isaac or who reached Out to us. We are a family of strength and faith. You can be assured we will KeepChoppin and PrayForIke."
TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE
The following update was issued Tuesday night by Sarasota Memorial Hospital:
Indiana University freshman Isaac Griffith remains in a medically induced coma in Sarasota Memorial's Critical Care Unit. His condition is critical, but stable. Doctors say he is showing small, but incremental improvements.
Isaac's parents, Shannon and Kim Griffith are by their son's side and deeply grateful for the prayers and support from friends and followers across the states. They have asked for privacy during their son's recovery and shared the following statement:
"We deeply appreciate the prayers and outpouring of support coming to us through tweets, calls and messages, both from Florida and Indiana. We are seeing positive signs throughout the day and winning small battles that give us hope."
The family will provide periodic updates through Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Twitter and other social media sites. They prefer to have no visitors or calls at this time.
FRIEND DESCRIBES RESCUE
The following was reported by The Associated Press tonight:
A friend who rescued Indiana wide receiver Isaac Griffith as he was drowning at a Florida beach said Tuesday he acted on instinct when the pair and two other friends got caught in a rip current.
"Me and Isaac got pulled farther out than everyone else, so we were having trouble," Mitch McCune said in a telephone interview. "He was drowning and I grabbed him and got him to shore. It was tough."
He said once he was able to stand, another friend, wide receiver Ty Smith, helped pull Griffith to shore. McCune wasn't sure how far from shore the rip current had taken them, but said they were out past the buoys.
McCune performed CPR on Siesta Beach until Sarasota County Sheriff's Department officers and emergency units arrived.
Police said Griffith was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where spokeswoman Kim Savage said he remained in a medically induced coma Tuesday evening. His condition was critical but stable, and doctors said he was showing "small, but incremental improvements," she said.
McCune, an Indiana student who is studying to be an athletic trainer, said he had visited Griffith several times in the hospital and asked Hoosiers fans to pray for Griffith.
"Pray for his lungs and his little battles and that he will come out strong and OK," he said. "Just keep thinking positive thoughts."
The sheriff's department said Griffith was drinking in a hotel room with McCune, Smith and safety Nick Stoner when the four decided to go swimming. McCune denied they had been drinking.
"I don't know how that started," he said.
McCune described Griffith as non-responsive when he pulled him out. The sheriff's report said Griffith's CT scans were normal and spokeswoman Wendy Rose said Tuesday that his "signs are positive."
Stoner, 21, is a wide receiver from the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood. Smith, a 19-year-old safety, is a redshirt freshman from Bloomington.
LATE TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday:
"Just wanted to give an update on my son. He has won some small battles throughout the day, he is still on a ventilator but they have it down to 50% with him taking on 50% on his own these are the small battles we are referring to.
"We continue to pray for lungs to show signs of healing and pray for the antibiotics they are giving him to ward of infection. We are thankful for the prayers and thoughts in this difficult time for our family. Isaac is receiving great care here at #SarasotaMemorial critical care unit."
WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning:
"Good morning. Ike had a positive night but we have some more little battles in front of us today. We know this is a Marathon not a Sprint! Ike has won these little battles along the way. We continue to ask for prayers for Ike for these #LittleBattles #PrayForIke #iufb."
WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday:
"Today was a very good day for Isaac! Early this afternoon the doctors gave the orders to remove him from the ventilator and bring him out of his medically induced coma. He woke up well is breathing on his own and resting at this present moment.
We are still in a Marathon for his recover and this two is just a little battle he is doing well. We still have those little battles in front of us. He has responded to his name immediately, moved his hands, squeezed Kim's hand, moved his feet. He has some issues they are treating with antibiotics for his lungs but that is something we expected.
We are giving praise to God for his strength and still need your prayers We will update in the morning once he is evaluated but this was a big step forward for Isaac. Thanks for all the well wishes and support for our family our faith and strength in God and our prayers are being answered Isaac is #WinningTheLittleBattles #PrayForIke God bless."
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE FROM SARASOTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Sarasota Memorial Hospital sent out the following release Thursday morning on the condition of Isaac Griffith:
Indiana University freshman Isaac Griffith was brought out of heavy sedation over the past 24 hours and this morning was awake, breathing on his own and responding well to his family and hospital caregivers.
Doctors upgraded his condition to serious, but stable, and believe he will make a full recovery. The biggest issue right now is monitoring and treating him for pneumonia and damage to his lungs that followed his near drowning Monday afternoon when he was caught in a riptide off Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida. Griffith had been heavily sedated since the accident. He likely will remain in Sarasota Memorial's Critical Care Unit for the next 24 hours and then be transferred to a regular nursing unit before being discharged in the coming days.
His family issued the following statement:
"This is everything we hoped and prayed for," said Isaac's father Shannon Griffith, who along with his wife Kim have been at their son's bedside since shortly after the accident. "We appreciate all the prayers and kind words we received from friends and followers on Twitter over the past few days - and we are extremely grateful for the caregivers here at Sarasota Memorial. Not only Isaac's doctor, but also the nurses, respiratory therapists and other staff. They took our family under their wings, knowing a big part of our support system was up north, and helped us through this whole experience. We are so very grateful for everything."
THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 1:00 p.m. Thursday:
"Last night and thus far today have been very good for Isaac they have him sitting up in chair watching #NCAATournament. His breathing is getting better but is fighting off a little pneumonia. This is just another little battle he is facing at the moment, but one anticipated by the medical staff who are on top of it.
Kim and I are truly thankful for all our support and well wishes are receiving. Our daughter, @ash_wednesdayy, helps with our family back in #FW. We are so pleased with Isaac's progress but guarded at the same time knowing Isaac faces more #LittleBattles ahead. He is aware that this is a Marathon and not a sprint. #PrayForIke #iufb"
THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 10:30 p.m. Thursday:
"Isaac continues to show signs of improvement one #LittleBattle at a time. He was up for some visitors this PM and to see him smile and laugh was a great moment for Kim and I. Doctor was in also this PM and was pleased with his progress, still is fighting the pneumonia but all apart of what we expected.
We continue to ask for you to #PrayForIke because we know it is making a difference in his recovery.We continue to talk about with him to #WinTheLittleBattles and we know with each day those objectives are being achieved. #iufb #KeepChoppin"
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE FROM SARASOTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL & GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Isaac Griffith is not out of the woods yet, but doing much better ... "he is past any immediate danger."
Dr. Hurwitz credited Isaac's friends for getting him out of the water as quickly as they did. Five minutes without oxygen is all it takes, he said, to cause a severe brain injury and permanent disability. The heroic actions of his friends who risked their own lives to pull him from the rip current, and who then performed CPR until paramedics arrived, not only saved his life, but his quality of life.
"A lot of the credit goes to his friends. They put themselves at serious risk to help him. Two or three minutes longer and it would have been a different story," Dr. Hurwitz said.
Isaac remains in serious but stable condition, off the ventilator and breathing on his own. He got up and walked today and is eating what he can. He was moved out of intensive care today to a regular patient care unit. He continues to be monitored and treated for pneumonia, lung damage and risk of infection from the salt water that was trapped in his lungs. His prognosis for a full recovery is very good. If all goes well, he should be discharged in a couple of days and be able to recuperate over the coming weeks at home.
Shannon Griffith - Isaac's father:
"It's a good day to smile" Shannon Griffith told reporters when they commented on the relief he must be feeling knowing his son was well on his way to a full recovery. He thanked Dr. Hurwitz and the entire team of physicians, nurses, respiratory care therapists and others who have cared for his son since he was admitted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital on Monday afternoon.
"From the time he got to the hospital till today, the care has been nothing but tremendous," he said. "Isaac has been winning little battles every day. I know we still have a few more to face, but we have tremendous faith in his care team and are very hopeful that things will be back to normal for him very soon."
He was emotional when he talked about the power of rip currents - the family was aware of them from past vacations on Florida's Gulf Coast - and how close his son came to drowning. He first learned of the accident when his wife called him Monday, about 6 pm. "It dropped me to my knees." he said. "It was the worst call I ever got in my life." He and his wife immediately boarded a plane to Florida and have been at their son's side since the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
The outpouring of support they received from Isaac's care team, and the many prayers and healing wishes from friends and followers on Twitter, calmed them, he said, allowing them to be strong for their son. Isaac was heavily sedated for several days, but has shown steady improvement since he was awakened late Wednesday and into Thursday. Doctors told the football family that the intense training Isaac and his teammates perform every day played a significant part in his recovery, which has been faster than Dr. Hurwitz expected.
"Not too many people walk away from that," Shannon said, his voice choking up. "Because of his physical conditioning, the daily regimen, the cardiovascular and strength training, good nutrition - all those things, that's how we win football games. For me, now, that's how you save your life."
FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 9:00 p.m. Friday:
"Isaac's move out of ICU went smoothly after a visit from his #IUBrothers. He is resting in his new room without the monitors and machines. He has repeatedly said he wants to go home, but knows that he must accomplish a few more #LittleBattles in order for the doctor to let him. I am thankful for so much I can't put it into words other than saying the #PowerofPrayer works #LittleBattles #PrayForIke. My daughter @ash_wednesdayy has been a #Rock for my family back home. #MissMyBabyGirl"
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE FROM GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 10:00 a.m. Saturday:
"Isaac is doing really good this AM. Ate some breakfast and got him to laugh and smile. What a thrill to see him do that. His Doctor was in this morning and told him his chest X-Ray is clearing up and the small air pocket he was concern with has gone away! Doctor's said to get out of bed walk around and get outside! The oxygen has been turned off and he is breathing on his own. #LittleBattles"
SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE FROM SARASOTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL & GRIFFITH'S FATHER
Sarasota Memorial Hospital media contact Kim Savage released the following statement today:
"Isaac Griffith continues to improve and was discharged from the hospital today. His family will be heading home to Indiana soon."
Griffith's father provided the following update on Twitter around 1:30 p.m. Sunday:
"Great day #Sunday. Isaac has been discharged from #SarasotaMemorial and we have started our journey back to Indiana. Kim and I are so very Thankful for everyone who lifted our son up in their prayers, the hospital staff, and Sarasota for helping two strangers in need."