MONDAY UPDATE: Blount teen with mysterious illness doing much better

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Maryville (WVLT) - Family and friends are praying for Blount County football player Cole Lail,17. He's in critical condition at Blount Memorial Hospital.

This latest update, posted around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night on a website dedicated to the teen's recovery:

Cole is continuing to improve. He has had a wonderful day. Barry and Alicia have been able to spend quite a bit of time with him this evening. He has been up a lot today. Made several trips around the hallways of the ICU. He has enjoyed solid foods and is tolerating it well.Was able to watch the Lady Vols game tonight with Barry and Alicia.

Please continue to remember Ms. Haley in your prayers as she has had to return to Austin Peay today for classes which start tomorrow. We are thankful for her safety as she traveled today, but know that it was difficult to leave her family. We love you Ms. Haley and you too are in our thoughts and prayers.

Barry and Alicia continue to be very thankful for all the support shown.

We look foward to the reports from the hospital tomorrow. Good night everybody.

This latest update, posted around 10:30 p.m. on a website dedicated to the teen's recovery:

Again excellent news from the hospital tonight. Cole has continued to move forward throughout the day. The family continues to be optimistic and upbeat regarding Cole's progress. The staff continues to slowly wean him off the ventilator. His condition is being reported as stable.

It has been amazing to see where all the different prayers and notes of support have come from. I saw one from Hawaii, one from Iraq. I even know that there are people in Madagascar praying. It is truly amazing to watch the Lord work.

The following statement from Cole's doctors appeared Wednesday afternoon on a website dedicated to keeping you up to date with his progress:

"Cole's condition continues to improve daily and Cole is slowly weaning off the ventilator and we remain optimistic for a full recovery. This is truly an answer to many prayers."

The following statement was released late Tuesday evening on a website dedicated to keeping the public updated about Lail's recovery

Cole has had another good day. I just spoke with Barry and Alicia and their comment to me as they were leaving the hospital was "we feel good".

Cole has continued to show some improvement today.

Barry and Alicia wanted me to again express their thanks for the tremendous show of love and support being shown their family. They are reading the guestbook and so appreciative of all the kindness and love and encouragement that has been shown. It has truly been an unbelievable show of support. You guys are amazing. From Barry,Alicia and Haley to all who have signed the book "We love you guys, thank you."

From Barry, Alicia and Haley, to any and all of the hospital staff that may read this journal, "You all are amazing and we truly appreciate all the wonderful care given to Cole. Thank you all very much."

TO Barry, Alicia, Haley and Cole: WE ALL LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

This update Tuesday afternoon by Cole's doctors on a website dedicated to updating family about his illness:

"Cole continues to slowly improve day by day and his family and health care providers are guardedly optimisitic about his prognosis for a full recovery."

An account has been set up at BB&T Bank. Just say you want to donate to the Cole Lail fund.

LIVE coverage from Blount County tonight at 6, ONLY on WVLT News.

And, there's this good news in this update posted by a family spokesperson earlier today:

The report is good from the hospital. Cole continues to be very stable and is progressing well as he comes off the ventilator.

In terms of numbers, when the ventilator is breathing completely for a person the number is 70. When a person is breathing completely on their own, the number will be 21. Cole was at 70 on Sunday, his number is now 30.

His vital signs remain good. Good start to the day.

We'll continue to update Lail's condition on Volunteer TV News and

He's considered the best linebacker in East Tennessee. He's in critical condition at Blount Memorial Hospital, and doctors are trying to find out what is wrong with him.

He's the star linebacker at William Blount. At 6'2", 228 pounds the 17 year old junior is strong and powerful. Scouts from around the country come to watch number 43, but right now he's in for the fight of his life.

"Coal's very sick. He's not out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination," family spokesman Mike Treadway said.

Cole entered intensive care last Wednesday with flu like symptoms. He started getting better, but Sunday took a turn for the worst.

Doctors put Cole on a ventilator and told the family it didn't look like he was going to make it, but Monday morning he showed signs of improvement.
Doctors are giving him anti-biotics, but still don't know what he has.

"To say that he has bacterial pneumonia would be inaccurate. That's not to say he doesn't we just don't know," Treadway said.

Cole is very involved in off season activities, recently attending training camps around the nation, working out with other teenagers. So are doctors worried he's spread his germs to others?

"No one's been worried about being contagious not even the doctors no," Treadway said.

Several fellow teammates were sick recently with the flu, but the school isn't testing other students who had contact with Cole.

"Our biggest thing we want to do is if anybody feels sick, make sure get people taken care of," said Scott Meadows, Cole's football coach.

Lots of Cole's classmates are very concerned about their friend.

"They're concerned. We had a prayer meeting today and about 200 kids showed up," Meadows said.

But coach thinks this is one fight his star player will win.

"I can assure you Cole Lail is a fighter, and he's going to come through this just fine," Meadows said.

The family asks that you continue to pray for Cole.

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