Lane Tech football star suffers concussion; family and friends ban together to fundraise

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UPCOMING FUNDRASISER

On Saturday Nov. 23, Bluelight bar, located at 3251 N. Western Ave. in Chicago, is hosting a benefit for Williams that will help his family cover medical bills and recovery. The fundraiser includes a silent auction for two round-trip airplane tickets to anywhere in the continental United States and a raffle that includes prizes such as gift cards, Bull’s tickets and more. Chipotle will cater this 21-and-over event. The $40 premium cocktail package is good for three hours. The event is 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.; the bar is open until 5 a.m.

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A Lane Tech star football player, Drew Williams suffered severe head trauma during his high school football game on Friday Oct. 4, 2013. He was admitted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn immediately following the incident and underwent emergency surgery to extract a portion of his skull to relieve pressure.

Williams’s medical staff said he showed no signs of distress initially. However, he removed himself from the game and eventually paramedics transported him to the hospital.

Williams plays wide receiver and safety for his football team and outfield for the Lane Tech baseball team. He was hospitalized after colliding with another player during a game at Gately Stadium in Oak Lawn.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said she has been in touch with the family. In a statement, she said: “Our thoughts are with the student and family during this difficult time.”

Recently, Williams was moved to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. At the time, he was very ill with pneumonia, low blood pressure and high fevers. Regulating the combination of these issues, given the complexity of his condition and medication side effects, has been more than a regular challenge.

Williams’s head injury weakened his immune system, and his body does not automatically fight off infections. The doctors are taking precaution to protect him and not allowing visitors at this time. As many of his friends were coming to visit him in the hospital during these last weeks, his doctors have now restricted his visitors to family only.

Williams currently remains in a coma in the ICU at Lurie Children’s Hospital. He has battled hard, and the hospital staff has tweaked and weaned him off medications to bring him to a stable condition. He physically looks better each day, and his support network is proud, although altogether not surprised, of his strength.

Williams’s friends and family have held many fundraisers in his honor, including a recent event at The Melting Pot and a GoFundMe page. Visit www.facebook.com/DrewMichaelWilliams and www.gofundme.com/4ootzc for more information and to donate.