High school football player fighting for his life after collapsing during basketball game

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — A Paulding County High School football player is fighting for his life after he collapsed and had a seizure while he was playing basketball with his friends, according to a family member.

Avery Cox is a rising senior. A family member, Lisa O’Neal Youngblood, wrote on Facebook that after he collapsed on Monday, his heart stopped. He was life-flighted to Egleston, where he was put on a ventilator.

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“His initial exam at Egleston indicated excessive swelling in his brain with little brain activity,” Youngblood wrote. “The doctors informed us that he had blood in his lungs and that he was in acidosis. They told us that he was very sick and that his body had suffered a major trauma.”

Acidosis occurs when body fluids contain too much acid. The condition can cause seizures, although it’s unclear if that’s what caused Cox’s seizure.


Cox’s family is asking the community for prayers. Paulding County High School held a prayer meeting for the teen Wednesday night.

“We are praying that his brain wakes up and we see brain activity,” Youngblood wrote. “We are praying that his lungs clear and that he is able to come off of the ventilator. We are praying that his heart is healed and beats and functions properly.”

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Cox was a linebacker for the varsity football team in the 2022-2023 season, according to hudl.com.

The school district issued a statement to Channel 2 Action News, reading:

“The school has been in contact with the family and our hearts are with them during this difficult time.”