Breaking News: Bishop Amat football and basketball player Austin Lacy remains hospitalized in a semi-conscious state

By Thomas Himes, Staff Writer
A Bishop Amat High School football star remained hospitalized in a semi-conscious state Tuesday after his heart stopped during an emergency medical procedure to save his life.
Austin Lacy, 17, had been complaining of fatigue the past few weeks, so his family checked him into Huntington Memorial Hospital on Monday. There, doctors discovered a heart infection had caused Austin’s chest to fill with fluid, said his father, Darryl Lacy.
Doctors transferred Austin to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for an emergency procedure to drain his chest. “As they extracted the fluid, his heart stopped and they had to massage it to get it pumping again,” Darryl Lacy said.

Doctors planned on draining a half-liter of fluid from the area around Austin’s heart, but discovered three and-a-half liters once the procedure got under way, Darryl Lacy said.

“He had a virus that attacked his heart and created fluid,” said Darryl Lacy. “They said it would be a simple procedure. The simple procedure turned into a nightmare.”

Despite the seriousness of his condition, doctors expect the 17-year-old to recover, said his father.

“The doctor was marveled by the fact he was lifting weights and attending basketball practice with a condition that would kill most people,” Darryl Lacy said. “Because he’s so healthy and works out, he’s expected to make a full recovery.”

Austin, of Pasadena, also plays basketball for Bishop Amat. He missed Friday’s 4AA semifinal game with flu-like systems.

Coaches and family members projected Austin to be one of the area’s top football players next year.

Before the start of his junior year in September, the standout linebacker transferred from Pasadena High School to Bishop Amat.

“I was just shocked and amazed that this happened to him,” said Kevin Mills, Austin’s former coach at Pasadena High. “He’s just an excellent young man with so much going for him. I was devastated by this news.”

Students, coaches and teachers at Bishop Amat have sent their best wishes to the family, Darryl Lacy said.

“We love Bishop Amat and all it’s done for us,” he said. “His teachers have texted me and some of his coaches stopped in to see how he’s doing.”

The teachers and coaches of Bishop Amat declined to comment, saying they had been asked not to speak to the media by Principal Merritt Hemenway.

Hemenway did not return calls for comment.

In his junior year at Bishop Amat, Austin made second-team All Serra League.

Standing 6 feet 2 inches and weighing 210 pounds, Austin runs the 40 yard dash in 4.7 seconds, according to online scouting reports.

Although colleges aren’t officially allowed to recruit him yet, UCLA, the University of Missouri, the University of Oregon and the University of New Mexico have expressed interest, Darryl Lacy said.

Lacy did not know when Austin would be able to play sports again.

“I know he will be in the hospital for at least another week,” Darryl Lacy said. “But he’s breathing on his own and blinking his eyes.”

626-962-8811, ext. 2477

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  • 1st and goal

    I was in shock when I heard the news. My son brought it to my attention last night when he received a text message from team mates. I spoke with Dad last night and he stated he was doing better…but not out of the woods yet. Our prayers go out to the Lacy family.
    Hey D, We got you. Let me know if you need anything.



    Austin the Charter Oak community is keeping you and your family in our prayers for your speedy recover. We might bicker all the time on this blog but one thing is for sure when one member falls in San Gabriel valley we all feel it.

  • Baseball NUT

    Each sporting season WE ALL brag and talk smack about who has the better team, who belongs in what division, and so forth. BUT whether your from AMAT, or C.O, or S.H, DAMIEN, D RANCH, GLENDORA, LOS ALTOS, B.P, OR L.P, one thing for sure is WE stick together as the SGV FAMILY! Our thoughts and prayers go out to the LACY family, the Amat staff & students, and everyone else who needs a prayer at ths time. Here is to a full and speedy recovery for Austin.

  • amat alum

    Prayers are going to Austin and his family. I hope he has a speedy recovery. Mighty are the men who wear the blue and gold!

  • BAHS

    My thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery are with you Mr. Lacey. Get well soon. “The Amat Family” – Steadfast, Loyal and True!

  • Blue and Gold Stud

    Just want the Lacy family to know that they are all in our thoughts & prayers during this difficult time. Having spent many Amat days & nights in the stands watching our sons practice & play together, it’s hard to believe that something like this would happen to him.

    We wish Austin a speedy recovery, from one stud to another.

    #54 and family

  • sgv scouting

    I think we all need to say a little prayer Austin and his family tonight. It’s times like this that makes sports seem just a little meaningless. To Coach Hegarty and the staff and players, we wish you the best during this tough time.


    From The Wilson Family, our prayer are with Austin, and the Lacy family!!!

  • Don

    Great news that Austin came through this and is on the road to recovery.

    Best wishes and prayers from our family to the Lacy’s.

  • Trojan Man

    God Bless this young man & his family


  • smallcitymc

    “… he’s expected to make a full recovery.”

    Wow! Amazing! God has truly blessed Austin.

  • Dan

    Thoughts and prayers to Austin and his family,
    times like this remind us just how fragile life is.

  • bobby martinez

    we leave austin in our prayes and our thoughts. i know that God will take care of you and your family. hope for a great recovery!

  • JOY


  • Wynde Grey

    Darryl and family, my prayers are with your family. Praying for a bleesed recovery and uplift your family during this trying time.


  • Douglas White

    As a father and a friend, I was concerned at the news of Austin’s health. I am glad to hear that he is on the road to recovery, and my prayers will always be with Darryl and his family.

    Darryl Lacy has two extremely talented sons who are athletes. His other son Maxwell (Univ. of Utah football) is a promising wide receiver. I have been knowing Darryl since college and I am pleased to hear that he has raised such wonderful young men.

  • Darryl, this is Coach Art at Cathedral, you know
    we’re on the same team, the DAD team, I love you guys and we’re praying for healing grace. Get well soon Austin, tell Maxwell stay up and keep doing what he’s doing, as you can see you’re not alone
    at this difficult time. If I can help in any way let me know. Peace.

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