Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Updated on Monday: Norfolk State's Amber Brown "awake for short periods of time"
Updated on Monday (Jan. 11): Here is our latest update on Norfolk State forward Amber Brown, who remains in Sentara Norfolk Heart Hospital. This comes from her sister, Ebony: "Amber is awake for short periods each day and responding to verbal commands. She is making remarkable progress daily. The family is asking for continuous prayers, for she is still fighting pneumonia and other infections."
UPDATED ON Friday: Here is our Friday news on Brown. These are words from her mother, Coretta:
"Your prayers are working! Her temperature is steadily coming down. Her responses to voice and touch are minor, but becoming more consistent. We need your continued prayers for her blood pressure to come down and for her temperature to be at an acceptable range. The next several days are crucial to her recovery as all medications are coming out of her system. I promise your prayers are working; please do not stop."
The gofundmepage for family expenses is approaching $6,000.
UPDATED on Thursday: Here's what we learned Thursday afternoon about Brown from talking with her aunt, Donna Jett-Fullove. These are direct words from Coretta.
"Amber's kidneys are doing their job. Getting better. Sodium levels are normal now. Keep prayers coming for her body temperature and blood pressure to improve. Your prayers have made the difference so far in her recovery. Don't stop. Keep sending well wishes. Keep believing."
Use the hashtag #PrayForAmber; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander has asked for prayers on his Instagram account.
Brown, 19, was found unconscious in her Norfolk State dorm room on Friday after coaches became concerned when she did not show up for practice. She had been on the floor for at least 12 hours and paramedics found only a faint pulse when they arrived. She coded twice in the trip to Norfolk General, suffering a seizure after the first time. Brown coded a third time at the hospital.
"After 20 minutes went by, they brought her back," Jett-Fullove said.
To prevent further seizures, Brown was put into a medically induced coma, allowing doctors to perform a cat scan the next day.
"They discovered she had had two heart attacks, three strokes and a blood clot on the brain," Jett-Fullove said.
Brown is a diabetic with Type 1 diabetes, meaning the body does produce insulin properly. The ideal glucose level for Brown is between 80 and 120.
"When they did the test on her sugar, it was 1,400," Jett-Fullove said.
High sugar levels can harm almost any part of the body and cause heart attacks and strokes. However, Brown had never had any significant health problems related to her diabetes.
Coretta, who lives in Atlanta, was initially told she had to get to Norfolk as quickly as possible to ensure she would see her daughter alive. While recovery seemed grim, Amber has surprised doctors with movement of her feet and response to sharp objects.
Her family, which includes sister Ebony, who played for NSU before graduating last year, is praying for a miracle. Jett-Fullove has worked in the medical field and said she knows, "No matter how bad it may seem, miracles happen every day.
"She's my cousin, but Amber is like my child," she said. "And she's fighting for her life."
Jett-Fullove has set up a gofundme page for Amber and her mother, who is missing work to be at her daughter's side. A $50,000 goal has been set for the fund; a little more than $3,600 has been raised in three days.
"We're waiting for her to wake up," Jett-Fullove said.
Norfolk State dedicated Tuesday's men's game between the Spartans and Princeton to Brown. The school's only statement is that Brown has been hospitalized with an undisclosed illness.
Brown, selected to the MEAC commissioner all-academic team last season, appeared in NSU's first 10 games, starting two.
LadySwish has contributed to the fund for Coretta and Amber and we hope the women's basketball community will respond as well at this link.
We will continue to provide updates as we receive them, and we, like all in the NSU family, will pray for Amber.