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Riverhead football player facing long road toward recovery

08/25/2015 10:02 AM |

Nikolas Visco, the Riverhead football player who collapsed at the end of practice last week, continues to face a long road toward recovery after suffering “serious kidney damage” from an apparent heat stroke, his family said. 

Visco, 16, remains at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, where his family hopes he will soon be off a ventilator.

“They are weening him off sedation to wake him slowly,” Visco’s mother, Yvette Tirado, wrote in a message to the News-Review. “When he did awake for a little bit, he did respond to my commands.”

Ms. Tirado credited Riverhead athletic trainer Chris Hildebrand for his quick actions to save her son last Monday. Mr. Hildebrand quickly assisted Nikolas before Riverhead Ambulance volunteers responded to transport him to Peconic Bay Medical Center. As he faced a fever of 108 degrees, according to Riverhead coach Leif Shay, Nikolas was transported to Stony Brook where he still remains.

“Nikolas has a long road ahead of him to come back as he was before and he needs to heal and it will be quite sometime until he is himself again,” Ms. Tirado said.

Riverhead coaches have been visiting Nikolas and Mr. Shay urged people to post video messages for him on the team’s Facebook page. A page titled “Get well Nik” was also set up for people to send in messages.

“Please let everyone know how much we appreciate all the support and prayers and love this community has sent,” Ms. Tirado said.

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