A standout Elmira area football player has been hospitalized.
UPDATE: On Monday, the University of Connecticut and Eli Thomas’ family released a joint statement on Eli’s progress after being hospitalized.
In some tough news, Thomas was taken to the hospital after suffering a stroke before a weightlifting session for the football program last week. Thomas’ condition was elevated to stable condition and he is making good progress. WETM-TV extends its support and thoughts for Thomas as he continues to fight back from this difficult time. Full updated release from UConn is below:
Joint Statement from the Family of Eli Thomas and UConn Athletics
On the morning of Wednesday, October 10, Eli Thomas suffered a stroke prior to participating in a weightlifting session. He was immediately transported to the hospital where he is in stable condition and making good progress toward recovery.
“Thank you all for your love and well wishes for Eli,” Mary Beth Turner, mother of Eli Thomas, said. “To say we are stunned by this turn of events is an understatement! A strong, healthy, 22-year old man having a stroke is not anything we anticipated. However, Eli will fight back as he has with every challenge that has come his way with “Eli Style.”
“We want to thank every single member of the UConn football staff! They have been tremendous! The love from them, and the team, has been overwhelming! A very special thank you to (assistant athletic trainers) Caitlyn VanWie and Tony Salvatore. Without their quick response, this horrible situation could have been devastating. We owe them more than we can ever repay! Continued prayers for Eli’s recovery are appreciated.”
With respect to Eli and his family, UConn will not provide further details at this time.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE 10/10: Eli Thomas, a redshirt junior linebacker for the University of Connecticut, was transported to a local hospital for reasons not disclosed by the school. In a statement received via email from the UConn Huskies athletic department tonight, Thomas was confirmed to have been in the hospital, but further details were not disclosed.
Thomas, who won the coveted Ernie Davis Award in 2013, has battled a plethora of injures since his departure from Elmira. Eli has endured three knee surgeries and fought his way onto the field in a starting role for the Huskies this year, highlighted by a game-ending sack against Rhode Island.
Uconn is (1-5) this season and Thomas has not played in recent weeks and was out of action with a neck injury against Memphis and Cincinnati. 18 Sports will continue to follow this developing situation and pass along any details as soon as they become available.
Full statement from the Uconn athletic department is below:
Statement From UConn
Earlier today, redshirt junior linebacker Eli Thomas was transported to the hospital and is currently in stable condition. UConn will not share additional details at this time.