Cole Lail’s condition was improving on Tuesday.
William Blount High School was dealt a stunning blowing last week with the news the football standout had fallen gravely ill. The highly-touted prospect was diagnosed with a 103-degree fever while attending a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill football Camp on Feb. 22. After returning to Maryville, Lail was taken by ambulance to Blount Memorial Hospital, where the star linebacker has remained ever since.
Lail developed flu-like symptoms prior to visiting the North Carolina camp and was treating it with over-the-counter medication. When his condition didn’t improve at the camp, he was sent home. Doctors discovered an unknown bacteria in Lail’s bloodstream after he was admitted to Blount Memorial. The Division I prospect’s condition steadily worsened, forcing Lail to be heavily sedated and placed on a ventilator last weekend.
“They can’t pinpoint it,” William Blount football coach Scott Meadows said. “It’s been scary.”
Late Tuesday, Caringbridge.org/visit/colelail, a Web site established to keep family and friends apprised of Lail’s condition, reported the Governor prospect had his second good day in a row. After more than a week of sleepless nights, Alicia and Barry Lail, Cole’s parents, said they’re feeling better about their son’s condition, according to the site.
Updated four times daily during the first week of Lail’s stay in the hospital, the site was scheduled to reduce the journal to twice daily beginning Wednesday.
The William Blount administration held a prayer gathering for Lail on Monday, attended by better than 300 students.
“We’re asking everybody just to pray for Cole and his family and pray for a speedy recovery,” Meadows said. “It’s just pretty dang rough right now.”
Lail became the first Blount County player ever invited to the prestigious U.S. All-American Combine for juniors in December. The talented linebacker is being recruited by Tennessee and North Carolina, among others.
Blount Memorial has requested only members of Lail’s immediately family visit him for the time being. Doctors remain “guardedly optimistic” about his prognosis for a full recovery.
An account has been established for Lail through BB&T bank to help with medical expenses, the Web site states. Individuals who wish to contribute may do so at any BB&T branch by telling them you wish to donate to the Cole Lail account.
The Lail family wishes to extend a special thanks to Regina Jennings at the Foothills Branch of BB&T for her assistance. The only names on the account are those of Barry and Alicia Lail. Any monies donated will go directly to them and be seen only by them. No third party is involved.