SARASOTA -- Indiana University freshman Isaac Griffith was brought out of heavy sedation over the past 24 hours and was awake Thursday, breathing on his own and responding well to his family and hospital caregivers, according to Kim Savage, Manatee Memorial Hospital spokeswoman.
Doctors upgraded his condition to serious but stable, and believe he will make a full recovery.
The biggest issue right now is treating Griffith for pneumonia and damage to his lungs that followed his near drowning Monday afternoon when he was caught in a riptide off Siesta Key Beach.
Griffith had been heavily sedated since the accident. He likely will remain in Sarasota Memorials Critical Care Unit for the next 24 hours and then be transferred to a regular nursing unit before being discharged in the coming days.
His family issued the following statement: "This is everything we hoped and prayed for," said Isaac's fathe,r Shannon Griffith, who along with his wife, Kim, have been at their son's bedside since shortly after the accident. "We appreciate all the prayers and kind words we received from friends and followers on Twitter over the past few days and we are extremely grateful for the caregivers here at Sarasota Memorial. Not only Isaac's doctor, but also the nurses, respiratory therapists and other staff. They took our family under their wings, knowing a big part of our support system was up north, and helped us through this whole experience. We are so very grateful for everything."
The family continues to provide periodic updates through Twitter and other social media sites.