Tulsa College Athlete Slowly Recovering From Heat Stroke

Monday, October 8th 2018, 7:25 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A young man in the hospital for more than a month could be moved out of ICU within days.

He's been hospitalized 43 days after a heat stroke doctors can't quite explain.

Slater Springman graduated from Holland Hall; baseball took him to college in Tennessee, where in late August, he collapsed after running a few laps.

The Slater Springman that everyone remembers was in great shape, with a bat in hand or on the field.

Now he's holding the ball, and holding up, in the middle of an extended hospital stay.

“It's going to be a long haul because the damage was so severe,” said Slater’s mother Rexann. 

Slater's parents have been at his bedside from day 1; first in Jackson, Tennessee where the walls were lined with get well cards, then through the air ambulance trip back home to Tulsa, to St. Francis Hospital.

“He was just so so sick,” Rexann said. 

Slater's core temperature hit 105, enough to shut down organs, damage muscles, and threaten his life.

“And so for 8 days we were in limbo,” said Rexann.

That was the day doctors said would determine whether he would live or die.

“And I just went in a prayed for a long time over him, because the doctors came in and said 'were just going to try and save his life today' and they did,” Rexann said. 

Other people prayed too like the baseball team and the women of Sooner Softball.

And back in Tennessee, the college prayer circle, and the church group, all praying, together.

Slater has months of recovery ahead, but his family is confident, still bedside on day 43, watching the numbers on the bloodwork improve.

“It's amazing, today is a great day because the numbers we're getting today are wonderful and he has come so far from where we were,” 

Slater's family said a full recovery is possible but it won't be quick.

The estimate now for the hospital or rehab is six more months.