Amber Brown, a 20-year-old Norfolk State women’s basketball player, has awoken from being in a medically-induced coma. She’s been hospitalized since New Year’s Day.
The junior was in the hospital’s intensive care for the past two-plus weeks. She was found by her roommate when she was unresponsive.
She suffered a stroke and as many were still celebrating the New Year, the new beginning to a prosperous 2016, she had three cardiac arrests that day.
According to her cousin Donna Jett-Fullove, things were pretty dire last week. Jett-Fullove said that the family even considered “pulling the plug” on her life.
“She’s improved a whole lot,” Jett-Fullove said from Atlanta to The Virginian-Pilot, where Brown is actually from.
“They are amazed,” she said. “Doctors definitely think that it’s a higher power.”
Brown’s mother, Coretta Brown, told ESPN.com on Thursday that her daughter is “still critical, but not day-to-day touch-and-go.”
When she was found by her roommate, she had seizures and brain swelling, which forced the doctors hands in putting her in a coma. She woke up on Wednesday after some medication she was on stopped.
The family started a GoFundMe page and it had raised more than $7,300, according to Jett-Fullove. The goal of the crowdfunding site is to raise $50,000 to help with her medical care.
Norfolk State is also wearing red label ribbons to support the cause. They are also taking donations at games — which will continue through this month.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, she is responding to touch and squeezing hands. She also remembers her parents as well as her sister Ebony, who was a former teammate at Norfolk State.
She’s just beginning in her road to recovery. She’ll have to go through physical therapy as basketball and academics are in the rear-view window right now.
“This is the beginning story for Amber as she has proved to us what faith and hope can do for many of us,” Anthony Carter, Jett-Fullove’s son, wrote Thursday in a Facebook post updating Brown’s latest progress.
As a Norfolk State basketball player, she averaged 1.7 points in 8.9 minutes in the games prior to New Year’s Day.
“I personally thank everyone for the strength, love, support, hope and faith that everyone has shown, and continue to keep following Amber throughout her life journey! The best is yet to come!”
From family and friends to teammates, coaches and faraway strangers, the support Brown has received has been overwhelming,” Jett-Fullove said.
“Everybody’s just gathering around her and making sure that everything is taken care of and that she knows that she’s loved,” she said, adding that she plans to visit Brown next week. “I’m sure she knows that, because my God, I’ll tell you: This little outpouring that we’ve had has just been amazing.”