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IHC player remains in critical condition; pneumonia slightly improving, father says

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WATERTOWN - The Immaculate Heart Central School student who collapsed during a basketball game Tuesday remained in critical condition Friday afternoon in the intensive care unit at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse.

Jack Valentine, 13, suffers from aspiration pneumonia, according to junior/senior high school Principal Lisa A. Parsons, who said she learned the information from the boy’s mother, Tracy H. Valentine.

Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes that occurs when food, saliva, liquids or vomit is breathed into the lungs or airways, according to healthline.com.

The youth had just played the first quarter of a modified seventh-grade basketball game Tuesday at Indian River Central School, Philadelphia, when he collapsed at the bench. He suffered a seizure, lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated. He has been listed in critical condition since then.

A Web page for him has been set up at www.caringbridge.com, where updates about his progress are being posted and well-wishes can be shared.

“It’s a way for the family to keep everyone posted at once,” Mrs. Parsons said. “It’s a nice way for Jack to know how many people love and care about him.”

The boy’s father, Edward J. Valentine, wrote on the site that doctors are still trying to determine whether it was a cardiac event that caused a seizure or the other way around.

“He has severe aspiration pneumonia and needs to be intubated and sedated for several more days. He is able to respond to verbal commands so we are encouraged. We need to get through this pneumonia issue then begin sorting out what exactly happened and why. We are taking it one day at a time,” the post read.

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Valentine wrote that his son’s X-ray “shows slight improvement with pneumonia” but that the boy is still sedated and cannot receive visitors. The family asked for prayers.

“Time after time I’ve seen results of prayer in the community,” Mrs. Parsons said.

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