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Chandler High School swim coach on ventilator in ICU due to COVID-19

Posted at 1:32 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 16:32:09-04

CHANDLER, AZ — Chandler High School's swim coach is fighting for his life in the ICU on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19.

Kerry Croswhite has been coaching swim at Chandler High School for nearly two decades. The day after Father's Day, he began experiencing symptoms such as a fever and body aches.

On July 3, he was admitted to Banner Desert Hospital. Two days later, he was admitted to the ICU, and is currently sedated and on a ventilator. Croswhite's family said that he is making progress and will undergo kidney dialysis as part of treatment.

"It’s hit home and our whole world has been rocked," said Laurie Croswhite, Croswhite's wife and assistant swim coach at Chandler High School.

The community around Croswhite and his family has helped raise more than their goal of $25,000 on GoFundMe.

"The early morning of July 8, his oxygen was dropping and they needed to move him to a ventilator. He coded on them while they were doing it. They were able to revive him and complete the ventilation process. Kerry is a fighter. We keep saying his swimming and bagpipe lungs will help him. We ask that everyone keeps praying for him during this journey. Thank you to everyone that is praying and supporting us," reads the post on GoFundMe.

“It’s nice," said Laurie tearfully, "We’re really excited for him to wake up and read all of his messages and donations and all and things like that we’re looking forward to that day."

Croswhite is not only a coach, but he is also a bagpipe player in the Tempe Police Pipe Band.

Croswhite's daughter, Bristyn, who swam at Chandler High with her dad as a coach, said that he needs to take his own advice that he would give out to swimmers before a meet.

"He would always tell us to 'just pin your ears back and go get 'em,'" said Bristyn. "That was more directed for our races and any time we were competing, but I think that it turns back on him in this moment and so he’s now pinning his ears back and he’s gonna go get 'em and fight this fight with COVID and he’s gonna come out on top."