INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Drey Mingo, a 21-year-old junior who is the second-leading scorer for Purdue, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition Wednesday with bacterial meningitis and her team canceled a holiday tournament trip to Mexico.
Mingo was hospitalized Tuesday night with the ailment, an inflammation of the coverings around the brain and spine that can be fatal. Purdue officials said she was at an undisclosed hospital in West Lafayette, Ind., and has a long way to go to recover.
“She’s had some improvements in her mental status that indicate some of the inflammation has decreased,” team physician Alayne Sundstrom said during a conference call with reporters. “But because of the inflammation around the central nervous system, it’s still critical. We don’t know what’s going to happen yet.”
“When I saw her last, she said ‘Coach V smile,’ and I wrote something down for her, and just said ‘Together we attack. Everyone’s here for you,’ and she gave me a thumbs up and said ‘Yes’,” Versyp said. “So she knows that everybody’s around.”
Mingo is expected to be treated with antibiotics for another two weeks and it is uncertain whether she will spend all of that time in the hospital. Her mother flew to West Lafayette on Tuesday night, and her father was scheduled to arrive Wednesday.
School officials said players, coaches, practice squad players and trainers, all of whom have been in close contact with Mingo over the past seven days, already have been treated for the illness. The school also notified state and county health departments and Purdue’s previous two opponents.
The Boilermakers (4-0) played DePaul on Sunday and South Dakota State last Thursday.
“We immediately consulted our team physicians when we learned of the situation from Purdue’s sports medicine staff,” DePaul spokesman Alicia Powers said. “The treatment prescribed was preventive antibiotics. Our student-athletes were treated accordingly.”
South Dakota State’s coach did not immediately return an e-mail message sent late Wednesday.
“Basketball does not matter, it just brings us together. She’s getting the best health care that we could possibly have,” Versyp said. “Obviously, they’re shocked and in disbelief, but I think we’re so close (as a team), I think that’s really helped them.”
Meningitis can be transmitted by recurrent exposure to saliva or coughing or other direct contact, but it is not highly communicable. Sundstrom said Mingo complained of cold symptoms Monday and Tuesday, which is consistent with the early onset of meningitis.
Versyp, however, stayed in West Lafayette and during a conference call shortly after midnight explained the decision to the players.View Entire Story
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