Merrimack goaltender Joe Exter, who was seriously injured a week and a half ago in a collision with Boston College’s Patrick Eaves, has been upgraded from serious to fair condition, according to representatives from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on Tuesday.
There was no word whether Exter is out of the coma he’s been in since the accident. According to a document on Beth Israel’s Web site, though, “fair” condition indicates that a patient’s “vital signs are stable and within normal limits.” It also noted that “fair” condition indicates that the “patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable” and that “indicators are favorable.”
According to a report on WBZ-TV in Boston, Merrimack coach Chris Serino said Exter recognized him during a visit to Exter’s bedside. To what extent that means consciousness has been regained, is unknown.
“Fair” is one of four conditions commonly used by hospitals to indicate a patient’s condition. “Critical” is the most dangerous condition, followed by “serious,” “fair” and “good.”
The hospital, at this time, was unable to release any further information about Exter’s condition, citing his family’s wishes to keep matters private for now.
Over 900 people attended a prayer service on Merrimack’s campus Tuesday night, including teammates, coaches, family and friends of Exter’s.
The team created t-shirts with the markings “Trust X Believe” on them, and the shirts were distributed to each player and Exter’s family. The meaning relates back to the beginning of the season, when Exter, as team captain, distributed two tennis balls to each player, one with the word “trust” on it, and the other with “believe.” Each player was required this season to have the tennis balls in their locker for every game.
In an article from October in the Eagle-Tribune, Exter said, “I wrote ‘believe’ on one and ‘trust’ on the other because you’ve got to believe in your teammates and trust teammates if you’re going to succeed. And I used tennis balls because you’ve got to have ‘you know what’ to win.
“That’s what we’re building this team on, belief and trust. What we do here is we believe in our teammates and we trust our teammates.”
Those words have taken on new meaning.