By Zac Ellis
Kentucky football player Ashely Lowery's condition has been upgraded from stable to satisfactory, according to a statement released by his family. Lowery, a junior safety on the Wildcats, remains hospitalized in Georgia after a serious auto accident on Saturday morning.
“On behalf of the Lowery family, we’d like to thank everyone for their concerns and prayer," the family said in a statement. "From Georgia to Lexington, we can’t thank everyone enough. You are like family to us.
"The only official comment from the hospital is that his condition has been upgraded from stable to satisfactory and his injuries are no longer life threatening. We expect a full recovery. Again, thank you so much for all the prayers and support.”
Lowery had his breathing tube and his neck brace removed and his sedation lifted over the weekend, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Sunday.
Lowery was involved in a wreck at around 4 a.m. Saturday in his hometown of Cleveland, Ga. He was sedated in intensive care at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center until Sunday, when he was finally able to speak with family members.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops also released a statement regarding Lowery's recovery.
“I went to see Ashely today and was glad to see him and spend some time with him," Stoops said. "We’re thankful for the progress he’s made and are hopeful he will continue that improvement. He’s heard from a lot of teammates and is grateful for all the good wishes and prayers that so many people are offering on his behalf. We ask the Big Blue Nation to join Ashely’s football family in continuing to pray for a speedy recovery.”
Doug Stutsman, the sports editor of the White County News in Cleveland and a family friend of Lowery's, said the player was lucky to still be alive. "I think miracle is the right word," Stutsman told the Courier-Journal. "There’s really no other word to describe it. His brother said it just looks like he was in a bicycle accident. After seeing the car, if you told me he was alive -- even if he was paralyzed -- I would’ve said he’s lucky.
Stutsman said Lowery's life might have been saved because he was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car, which suffered extensive damage. The family has not released details on the circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident. Lowery started eight games for the Wildcats as a sophomore last season, ranking fifth on the team with 43 tackles.