FORT WAYNE – His family spoke of his fight for life as one composed of dozens of little battles, and Isaac Griffith apparently won most of them.
Doctors now believe the Indiana receiver and Homestead graduate will make a full recovery.
He is expected to leave critical care this afternoon and then be discharged from Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital in the coming days.
This is everything we hoped and prayed for, father Shannon Griffith said in a statement. We appreciate all the prayers and kind words we received. We are extremely grateful for the caregivers here.
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.
It has been a trying week for Griffith since Monday’s swimming accident in the Gulf of Mexico, but his condition was upgraded Thursday to serious but stable, a statement from the hospital said.
He is being monitored and treated for pneumonia and lung damage after nearly drowning in a rip current while on vacation in Sarasota for spring break.
Griffith emerged from 24 hours of heavy sedation Thursday morning and responded well to his family and medical personnel, spokeswoman Kim Savage said.
A star at Homestead, Griffith was the first member of the Hoosiers’ 2013 recruiting class but took a redshirt last season.
Mitch McCune, who is one of Griffith’s roommates for the upcoming school year, pulled him out of the choppy water and performed CPR on Siesta Beach.
Two other Hoosiers – receiver Nick Stoner and safety Ty Smith – were in the ocean with them but emerged unharmed.
An incident report by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department said the four men consumed alcohol before swimming, but McCune vehemently denied they had been drinking.
Griffith spent part of the day Thursday watching NCAA tournament action from his hospital bed.