A South Hall Middle School eighth-grader who suffered a stroke at a cross country meet two weeks ago is beginning to recover.
Alberto Diaz, 15, is in stable condition and was able to breathe on his own after doctors removed a ventilator on Friday, according to a Hall County Schools news release. Doctors said they cannot predict the speed or scope of his recovery.
Diaz was competing at a cross country event at West Hall Middle School when he suffered a massive stroke, said Hall County schools spokesman Gordon Higgins.
“He was coming around the ... course and he was actually leading the race at the time, and he just collapsed,” he said. “Everybody was stunned because he was such an outstanding athlete.”
Higgins said a school nurse at the event stabilized Diaz. The athlete was then taken to Scottish Rite Hospital and is now at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Higgins said.
The eighth-grader ran on his school’s cross country team last year, played soccer and received a positive report from doctors before he began interscholastic sports, Higgins said.
South Hall Middle Principal Paula Stubbs said students have rallied behind Diaz and his family by raising nearly $3,000 in the past week to assist the family with medical expenses.
“We are encouraged by the news we received ... about Alberto’s improved condition and continue to offer our hopes and prayers for his eventual recovery from this unforeseen tragic event in his life,” she said.
A care fund has been established for Alberto at Lanier Federal Credit Union in Oakwood. Donations can be made by mail or in person.