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Lane Tech Football Player Remains in Coma as Well Wishes Pour In

By Patty Wetli | October 9, 2013 10:49am
 Drew Williams, Lane Tech football player (#3), remains in a coma after collapsing during Friday night's game.
Drew Williams, Lane Tech football player (#3), remains in a coma after collapsing during Friday night's game.
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Facebook/Lane Tech College Prep; CaringBridge.com

ROSCOE VILLAGE — As well wishes pour in from across the city, Lane Tech senior Drew Williams remains in a medically-induced coma after collapsing on the sidelines during a football game Friday night.

Supporters have set up a page for Williams on CaringBridge, a social network site designed to share health-related information.

The latest update on his condition states: "Drew is in critical condition, in a coma and he continues to fight for his life. On Friday night he suffered a subdural hematoma which led to a craniotomy in an attempt to decrease brain swelling. He continues to be on medication also in an attempt to improve his condition."

The site had logged more than 5,000 visits as of Wednesday morning. Words of encouragement for Williams and his family have been posted by members of the Lane Tech community, Drew's former grade-school teachers and Pop Warner coaches, as well as the paramedic who transported the athlete to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

"I've seen a lot of terrible things. I've also seen many amazing and remarkable recoveries and survivors. I'll continue to pray for you and hope for a good outcome, a happy ending," wrote the paramedic.

Lane Tech's Parent Teacher Student Organization is organizing volunteers to provide household help, meals, etc. At this point, anyone other than immediate family is being discouraged from visiting the hospital.

Williams collapsed during Friday night's game between Lane Tech and Dunbar High School, held at Gately Stadium in Roseland. Neil Hernandez, who runs the Chicago Public League Sports Blog, was in attendance but didn't notice any major on-field collisions involving Williams, he told the Chicago Tribune.

The precise cause of Williams' injury hasn't been identified, but a website raising money for a recovery fund notes that he "suffered severe head trauma." Lane Tech's athletic department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has been in contact with the Williams family, according to a CPS spokesman. She issued the following statement: "Our thoughts are with the student and family during this difficult time.”

The spokesman added that paramedics are on site at all CPS football games. In the event a student is injured and transported to a hospital, a CPS staff person accompanies the student until a parent arrives.