Florida Gators junior swimmer Sinead Russell was admitted to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, late last week and subsequently diagnosed with cerebral venous thrombosis, a potentially life-threatening blood clot near the brain.
She was treated with care over the weekend and released into her family’s custody on Wednesday, according to her father, Cecil Russell.
“The next four weeks are critical,” he said in an e-mail to the Burlington Post on Wednesday. “No swimming, no exercises…she has to have complete rest.”
The Gators were unable to confirm Russell’s medical status, at the request of her family, but a spokesman did provide the following statement to OnlyGators.com:
“Sinead Russell was admitted into the hospital with an illness and continues to be evaluated by doctors. There is no timetable for her return to competition.”
SwimSwam.com first reported that Sinead Russell was hospitalized and placed in intensive care. She was under close watch at least through the weekend, when her father related to the Post that his daughter was “improving and out of danger” while doctors “look[ed] into how quickly the repair and healing [could] be done.”
He also thanked the school for its assistance when first confirming his daughter’s condition to SwimSwam.com. “[The] Gators are really stepping up big in every way a school could,” he said. “They are helping huge and [Sinead is getting] great support from the university.”
A 14-time All-American with nine All-SEC honors, Russell is also an international star who competed for Canada in the 2012 London Olympics. She holds the country’s high school record in the 100-meter backstroke.
Russell led Florida to three event wins at its last meet against Florida State on Jan. 3, though it is unlikely that she will be able to compete for the remainder of the season.
Russell is the second Gators student-athlete in the last four years to be rushed to the hospital with bleeding near the brain. Florida linebacker Neiron Ball was treated for a congenital vascular condition in Feb. 2011 after a blood vessel in his brain ruptured.