Originally Published: Sep 17, 2010 8:11 AM CDT
Special Contributor for Oklahoma Sports
CHICKASHA, Oklahoma --Students, faculty and the Chickasha community say their thoughts and prayers are with the family of a 16-year-old Chickasha High School football player who died Friday morning after suffering from a heat-related injury in practice.
Kody Turnerbattledto recover from heat stroke-related illness. The varsity player collapsed Tuesday afternoon following football practice which included sprints. The junior was rushed to a hospital in Chickasha and was later taken by a medical helicopter to OU's Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City.
The Turner family released a statement on Kody's condition Thursday afternoon:
"We would like to thank all Oklahomans who have been praying for Kody during this time of crisis. Currently, Kody is in critical condition in the ICU at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center. Over the last few hours, Kody appears to have made small improvements, however, he is still extremely critical. We think it is important for everybody to understand that there is nobody to blame in this situation. The coaches, the school and the other players should not be criticized for what has happened to Kody. We hold nobody responsible and consider this an unfortunate situation. We would like to thank his coaches and the medical staff at the Chickasha Hospital for their quick reaction to Kody's condition. That speed, along with the care at Children's Hospital, has brought Kody this far. We appreciate everybody's concerns and questions during this time, but ask people to respect our privacy during his recovery process."
The Chickasha cheerleading squad made a special card to bring up to the hospital. Prayer chains have formedacrossChickasha and Oklahoma for the teen.
Chickasha High School plays Noble High SchoolFriday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. The school has not said if anything special is planned to honor Kody during the game.