Templeton football player's condition upgraded to 'serious' from 'critical'

Templeton High School student Isaac Lindsey
Templeton High School student Isaac Lindsey

Templeton High School football player Isaac Lindsey was upgraded Sunday from critical to serious condition and moved out of the intensive care unit at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Hospital spokesman Ron Yukelson said Lindsey was moved into what is called a step-down unit, where he will be continually monitored.

"The family is obviously ecstatic about his progress," Yukelson said.

Lindsey, 16, suffered a traumatic brain injury during a football game on Sept. 18 and was taken to Sierra Vista, where he underwent surgery and was put into a medically-induced coma, which is done to reduce brain activity and help control swelling that can damage brain tissue.

Lindsey was in an induced coma for a number of days, according to Facebook posts by his mother, Jenny Lindsey. He was slowly weaned off the drugs and brought out of the coma, Yukelson said, although he did not know when that process began.

"The family really wants to emphasize that he is still very fragile and is not seeing visitors at this time," Yukelson said. "No phone calls, no visitors."

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Jenny Lindsey said her son was diagnosed with a life-threatening traumatic brain injury and on Friday was taken out of the medically induced coma and off a respirator.

“He had slow and steady progress through the day and night, which included recognition of family, movement in limbs and speaking a few words (one of which was MOM),” she wrote.

On Saturday he was assessed for physical therapy and the highlight of her day “was hearing that sweet voice again along with a kiss on the hand,” she wrote.

Jenny Lindsey praised the care her son has received at Sierra Vista, but added that he will require extensive therapy at an acute treatment facility out of the area. His treatment “is anticipated to be a slow and lengthy recovery,” she wrote.

Since Lindsey was taken off the football field on a stretcher during the fourth quarter of a game between Templeton and San Luis Obispo High School, the region has rallied around his family: parents Jenny and Michael Lindsey, sister Mattie and older brother Louis, who plays on the same football team and was in the game the night Isaac trotted off the field, hands to his helmet, and collapsed on the sideline.

Since then, signs and banners have been flying on the Templeton campus and around the community, while other schools have also sent signs and messages of support for what has become known as "Team Isaac."

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, more than $92,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe.com page