Covington Academy student in intensive care, now able to communicate

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11Alive previously reported the story of Payton Hudgins, a 10th grader who was recently placed in a medically induced coma at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — A 15-year-old basketball player who mysteriously collapsed after winning a championship game is starting to show signs of a hopeful recovery, according to his family’s Facebook posts.

11Alive previously reported the story of Payton Hudgins, a 10th grader at Covington Academy who was recently placed in a medically induced coma at Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta. The doctors there still don’t know what’s wrong.

Payton’s family released an update on Thursday saying that although their son is still sedated and on a ventilator, he has attempted to contact them.

“Talk about moving the mountains and warming our hearts,” the family happily wrote.

They added that one of Payton’s communication attempts involved him trying to write. However, the family said he was too weak so he told them I love you with his hand and reached out for a hug.

Payton had just helped his team win the regional championship game last Thursday when he began to feel unwell.

A few minutes later, Payton passed out and had a seizure.

He was rushed by helicopter to Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta where he tested positive for influenza and COVID-19.

From there, Payton was placed in a medically induced coma as doctors struggled to figure out what was going on.

On a Facebook page dedicated to providing updates on the teenager, the family shared an image of a whiteboard with some scribbles on it. They added that it was his attempt to tell them “I love you”.

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