For football coach Shannon Griffith, battles are nothing new, but his family faced their toughest one together this week.
"That phone call my wife gave me at about 6 p.m. on Monday night was the worst call I ever got in my life," Griffith said.
The call he got was about his only son: Indiana wide receiver and red shirt freshman Isaac Griffith.
He and his friends were on Siesta Key March 17th when a rip current pulled him under. He nearly drowned.
"It dropped me to my knees," said Coach Griffith.
A friend did CPR and Isaac was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. His family flew in to be at his side.
"The power of prayer is all I can say," said Coach Griffith.
Doctors put Isaac on a ventilator and sedated him, hoping his lungs would heal. It only took a few days for them to see progress.
"I asked him to squeeze his mom's hand, and that was the first response for her. He said his name and that is the moment that we were on the right track," he said.
Coach Griffith said his son is awake and even walking.
Doctors credit Isaac's athleticism.
"Had he not been in the condition he was, maybe he would not have come out of this," Griffith said.
They also say his friends' quick response time saved Isaac's life.
"A lot of credit has to go to his friends who got him out of the water just in time. A few minutes later, and this would have been a whole different story," Dr. Kenneth Hurwitz said.
Griffith said he knows his son faces more battles ahead, but he knows those battles will be conquered.
"When he walks out that door so we can go home, that is when we'll have that moment," he said.
Doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital are confident Isaac will make a full recovery. They said it will take a few more weeks, but he should return to classes soon.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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