Indiana freshman receiver Isaac Griffith is winning his battle to overcome injuries suffered in a swimming accident. He remains in critical condition in a Florida hospital.
The former Homestead standout is in a medically induced coma at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Critical Care Unit. According to a hospital release, he is showing “small, but incremental improvements.”
Griffith was injured on Monday while on spring break with friends. His parents, Shannon and Kim, flew to Florida early this morning. Shannon Griffith is the head football coach at Manchester College.
Late Tuesday night, Shannon Griffith tweeted this update:
“He has won some small battles throughout the day. He is still on a ventilator, but they have it down to 50 percent, with him taking on 50 percent 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 off infection. We are thankful for the prayers and thoughts in this difficult time for our family. Isaac is receiving great care here at Sarasota Memorial Critical Care unit.
"We continue to talk to Isaac because we believe he can hear us. Again, thank you to everyone across the country for reaching out to our family we will #wintheselittlebattles and plays #PrayForGrif #iufb."
The family released a statement earlier on Tuesday:
“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 release said the family is “deeply grateful for the prayers and support from friends and followers across the states. They have asked for privacy during their son's recovery.”
The release also said 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.”
Griffith was an all-state player at Homestead. He set school career records for catches (119), yards (2,453) and touchdowns (37). He also has single season school records for points (162) and receiving touchdowns (22), plus the record for longest punt return (80 yards).
Griffith helped Homestead win four Northeast Conference titles. He was the state's No. 12 prospect as a senior by ESPN.com. He redshirted this past season.
The Associated Press reported that Mitch McCune, an IU student studying to be an athletic trainer, was swimming with Griffith when the two got carried far from shore by a rip tide. McCune told the Associated Press Griffith was drowning, and “I grabbed him and got him to shore. It was tough.”
IU wide receiver Ty Smith helped pull Griffith to shore. Another Hoosier receiver, Nick Stoner, also was with them. McCune told the Associated Press Griffith was non-responsive when he was pulled out of the water. McCune performed CPR until medical personnel arrived.
McCune told the Associated Press that he has visited Griffith in the hospital.
"Pray for his lungs and his little battles and that he will come out strong and OK," he said. "Just keep thinking positive thoughts."
According to the Associated Press, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department report indicated Griffith's CT scans were normal. Spokeswoman Wendy Rose said on Tuesday that Griffith's “signs are positive.”