LU's head football coach recovering from severe infection
Football stands at Liberty University are empty now, but in just days, they’ll be filled with thousands of cheering fans as the Flames host their biggest game in program history: No. 22 Syracuse.
The Flames has been practicing for weeks, and most recently without their head coach, Hugh Freeze. “He was within 24 hours of fighting for his life, he was that close," explained LU's president Jerry Falwell.
Freeze was septic.
The coach hadn't been at practice since August 10 for what he initially thought were back spasms. Turns out a staph infection in the blood was causing the pain.
Falwell stepped in to help consulting with some doctors including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, a former Neurosurgeon.
“I got a jet to fly Dr. Ellegala in Scottsdale, Arizona,” explained Falwell.
Dr. Dilan Ellegala, a former Lynchburg General doctor, performed an innovative procedure, healing Coach Freeze. “I never knew how much I missed it..." said Coach Freeze from a hospital bed in Charlottesville Tuesday. "And I just want to say to all of you guys to President Falwell who did a remarkable thing in showing compassion and getting me the best care in the world to help treat this issue that I had and the infection in my back," Freeze added.
LU’s first game of the season is August 31.
It will be Freeze's first time leading the Flames and he says he plans to be there.