Coach's Condition Described As "Critical, But Improving" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/11/05-Tyler

Coach's Condition Described As "Critical, But Improving"

"At this point in time, he is alert. He's able to communicate with his family," says Dr. Luis Fernandez of Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.

They are words of encouragement, as doctors update the media on Coach Gary Kinne's condition at a press conference Monday morning. They knew they had a major task on their hands when the was shot in the upper abdomen and rushed to the hospital.

"He was in a lot of pain and it was very difficult for him to breath. We were talking to him as he came into our emergency center. So was the flight crew flying him in, letting him know what we were going," says Dr. Fernandez.

What they had to do was control heavy bleeding and the shock state the coach was in. A second surgery was necessary to repair his severely damaged liver. "Due to the shock effect of the bullet it bore a hole the size of a fist all the way through the liver," says Dr. Fernandez. Dr. John Norris adds, "This is a life-threatening injury. As Dr. Fernandez just said, a substantial number of people die from. That means there are all sorts of difficulties that could be encountered."

Doctor's credit Coach Kinne's size and physique for withstanding such a significant injury. They also say his family has been by his bedside the whole time. "They've actually been exceptionally strong. This is a very trying time for them. We have made every effort to maintain them in the communications loop. I also think you know their faith has also uplifted them. It's also uplifted us too," says Dr. Fernandez.

Doctors say, quick response to such a trauma injury has been key to saving the coach's life. But the road to recovery could be much longer.

As of Wednesday April 13th the condition of Coach Kinnie as been updated to seious.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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