South Hall Middle eighth-grader Alberto Diaz left Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite this week and is now in intensive therapy.
Last month, Diaz, 14, was competing in a cross country race at West Hall Middle School when he collapsed and suffered a massive stroke. A school nurse was on hand to stabilize him before he was sent to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, and then to Scottish Rite in Atlanta.
Diaz moved into the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital with his mother on Wednesday, said South Hall Middle counselor Susan Carlson. She said Diaz is in a physical rehabilitation and speech therapy program there, where he will recuperate for at least the next 30 days.
Carlson said Diaz is walking with a cane and doctors expect he will be able to speak again.
"He is improving every day. He has exceeded all of his doctor’s expectations and he continues to do so," Carlson said.
Diaz could return to school at South Hall Middle before or after winter holidays, she said. Therapists at the Ronald McDonald house will do a complete assessment to transition him back to school, Carlson said.
"We can’t wait to have him back at school. Everyone is excited," she said. "He has never left our consciousness. People are really connected with this young man and are wishing him well and looking forward to his return."
She said students continue to find ways to help the Diaz family as the soccer player recuperates. Hall County students have raised more than $3,000 to assist the family.
On Nov. 4, Chili’s Grill and Bar on Spout Springs Road is hosting a benefit for the Diaz family. Carlson said the restaurant will donate 10 percent of proceeds to the Alberto Diaz Care Fund established at Lanier Federal Credit Union in Oakwood.
Carlson said for Chili’s to direct proceeds to the fund, customers must pick up a flyer from South Hall Middle School at 4335 Falcon Parkway in Flowery Branch and present the flyer at the restaurant.