Two Darton State wrestlers who collapsed from the heat during outdoor workouts last week remain hospitalized, with one being airlifted to a Florida hospital Sunday in critical condition.
Sophomore Ben Richards, who became ill after a five-mile run on Wednesday, was flown from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga. to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla. because of liver failure, according to his family. He remains in critical condition.
"He had liver shock and they're counting on getting the kidneys going and that will help the situation with the liver,” Chuck Richards, father of Ben Richards, told NBC affiliate WALB-TV Sunday. “So there's nothing that can be done, there's no secret medicine. The body has got to break it down and it could be days or weeks. So we're in a holding pattern while they're maintaining him to see if they can get the kidneys functioning."
Freshman Alex Washington, who was taken ill during an outdoor run on Tuesday, remains hospitalized in Albany. WALB-TV reported Washington’s condition as critical on Sunday evening, while, on the same day, the local Fox affiliate reported the freshman “is conscious and doing much better.”
According to the Associated Press, Darton State College President Peter Sireno visited Friday with the two wrestlers who remain in the hospital and their families. In addition, a prayer vigil for the fallen wrestlers was held Friday evening on the practice field where the athletes became ill.
Founded in 1963 as Albany Junior College, Darton State College recently became a four-year state school. The 5,900-student school, located in southwestern Georgia, launched its wrestling program in 2007.
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