Updated 10/09/13 – 10:53 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A Lane Tech High School football player was in critical condition Wednesday morning, in a coma, after collapsing on the sidelines during a game.
CBS 2′s Mike Puccinelli reports Drew Williams was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn Friday night, after collapsing on the sidelines, shortly after taking a hit during the game against Dunbar High School at Gatley Stadium.
Williams’ coach said the senior suffered bleeding on his brain, and has been in the intensive care unit after surgeons opened his skull to relieve the pressure from swelling.
Williams, a senior who played running back and cornerback at Lane Tech, also plays baseball.
As students filed arrived at Lane Tech Wednesday morning, many were thinking of their ailing classmate.
“I know he’s going to get through this. It’s scary. We were right there,” said Lane Tech junior Richie Costas, a teammate of Williams’.
But Costas and other teammates said they are confident their star running back will return.
“We know he’ll get through it,” Costas said. “We’re all praying for the family. … The whole football team’s praying for him.”
Karina Garcia has known Williams since they were freshmen. She said she can hardly believe her congenial classmate is now comatose.
“It’s just so mind-blowing, you know? Because, one day you see him and he’s so happy … always like a free spirit. And then one day you just hear that, and it really does make you think how quick things can change.”
Counselors have been made available to help students struggling to come to terms with the fact one of their classmates is struggling to live.
“I just want to see him in school. … He’s inspirational,” Tyquan Robinson said. “He’s a cool kid. He comes to class. He’s fun to be around.”
Friends, classmates, and other supporters have been writing tributes to Williams on a CaringBridge web page dedicated to him. A GoFundMe account also was set up to collect donations for Williams’ recovery fund.