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Riverhead football player nearing release from hospital


After more than five weeks in a hospital after suffering heatstroke during the Riverhead football team’s opening day practice, junior Nikolas Visco is close to returning home, his mother said. 

Visco has been under care at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital after suffering serious kidney damage as the result of the heatstroke.

His mother said they were hopeful her son could be released Friday and it depends on his calcium levels, which could still spike and adversely affect his heart.

“He is so emotionally and mentally drained,” wrote his mother, Yvette Tirado, in a Facebook message. “He just wants to be home.”

Visco will still need physical therapy when he returns home and he’s set a goal for himself: to walk onto football field for the Blue Waves’ homecoming game on Oct. 24 against Bellport.

“Nikolas will continue to heal and will continue to fight to get better,” his mother said.

Visco will need to remain on IV fluids when he gets home, his mother said.

It’s been a long, excruciating process ever since Visco collapsed on the field at the conclusion of the team’s Aug. 17 practice. A trainer quickly came to his aid and he was transported by Riverhead Ambulance volunteers to Peconic Bay Medical Center where he developed a 108-degree fever. He was transferred to Stony Brook and listed in critical condition. He was sedated for more than a week as he began the long recovery process.

“It has been difficult for both of us,” his mother said. “I haven’t left his side. I have been here with for the full month as well. I hate to see him this way.”

Visco received a surprise visit earlier this month when players on the Stony Brook University football team stopped by his room. Visco’s mother said the players were caring and offered advice on education.

The players told Visco, “Football is basically just a game and you should always put education first,” according to his mother.

Among the questions Visco asked the players: How much can you bench?

Photo Caption: Stony Brook football players Victor Ochi (91) Naim Cheeseboro (22) visited Nikolas Visco, who wore his Riverhead football jersey, at the hospital earlier this month. (Courtesy photo)

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