Griffith’s father: Griffith sitting up, walking

Isaac Griffith’s father Shannon met with reporters Friday at a press conference in Sarasota, Fla., at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. He said that Griffith is sitting up and walking and that he met with friends Mitch McCune, Ty Smith and Nick Stoner who helped save his life after a swimming accident Monday at Siesta Key Beach. Griffith was awoken from a medically-induced coma on Wednesday afternoon and his condition was upgraded from critical to serious but stable according to a condition update from the hospital on Thursday morning.

Elizabeth Johnson of the Sarasota Herald Tribune has a report here with video. 

UPDATE: The story for tomorrow’s paper follows:

Shannon Griffith, emotional after four days at his son’s Isaac’s hospital bedside, told reporters in Florida on Friday morning that his son is breathing on his own and eating. He also said that Friday morning, the Indiana wide receiver got out of bed to walk around for the first time since a swimming accident on Monday led to him being put in a medically-induced coma. 

“He’s doing great,” the elder Griffith said in the press conference at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, a video of which was posted on the website of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “The care that he got from the time that he got to this hospital to today has been nothing but tremendous. It’s a lot about what was done right. That’s the whole thing that we focus on, from the nurse’s care to Dr. (Kenneth) Hurwitz’s care to the staffing.”

According to a release from the hospital, Dr. Hurwitz, a critical care physician at Sarasota Memorial Hospital board certified in pulmonology, said that Isaac Griffith is not “out of the woods yet,” but doctors do expect him to make a complete recovery.

The release said that Griffith is still in serious but stable condition, but he was moved out of intensive care on Friday morning to a regular patient care unit. He is still being monitored and treated for pneumonia, lung damage and the risk of infection because of salt water that was trapped in his lungs. If all goes well, the release said, he could be discharged in the coming days and sent home to Fort Wayne to recuperate.

“He is past any immediate danger,” Hurwitz said according to the release.

Hurwitz and Shannon Griffith both gave extensive praise to Griffith’s three friends who were with him at Siesta Key Beach on Monday on a Spring Break trip when Griffith was carried out to shore by a rip current. Mitch McCune, a Bloomington South graduate and Indiana student with training in CPR, noticed that Griffith was in distress and carried him back to shore, where he began CPR. IU football teammate Ty Smith aided McCune with carrying Griffith on to the shore and also helped in CPR and IU wide receiver Nick Stoner ran to call 911.

Hurwitz said that without their quick reaction, Griffith might not have been able to recover. He said that five minutes without oxygen could have led to permanent brain damage. According to a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department report of the incident, a CAT scan taken immediately after the image showed no significant brain damage.

“A lot of the credit goes to his friends,” Hurwitz said, according to the release. “They put themselves at serious risk to help him. Two or three minutes longer and it would have been a different story.”

Shannon Griffith said Isaac’s friends had been to the hospital several times during the week, and he got to actually meet with them on Thursday evening for the first time since he was taken out of the coma and off a ventilator on Wednesday afternoon.

“Whatever Mitch and Nick and Ty Smith all did in that instance was the difference,” the elder Griffith said. “My wife and I are truly grateful. It was even more rewarding last night to see those guys come in. … Those three guys saved his life. Saved his life.”


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