Jack Allard, a 26-year-old standout lacrosse player from Ridgewood, has recovered from the coronavirus after being in a medically-induced coma and left a hospital last week to the thunderous applause of the staff, Gov. Phil Murphy announced yesterday.
Allard’s story, from healthy former college athlete to critical COVID-19 patient, was cited by Murphy to show that no one is immune from the virus.
“Jack is athletic as they come,” Murphy said, pointing to a picture of him in his Ridgewood High School lacrosse uniform flanked by his family. “Only 26, and yet we nearly lost him to COVID-19. Don’t think for a minute that since you exercise you’re immune. You are not.”
He had no known underlying medical conditions — “the picture of health,” the governor said.
Late last month, Allard began feeling sick and was checked into JFK Medical Center in Edison. He tested positive for the coronavirus (his initial test results were misplaced) and his condition continued to deteriorate until he was placed in a medically-induced coma.
Allard was airlifted to a hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s devastating,” his high school coach, Mike Pounds, told NJ Advance Media after Allard’s hospitalization.
“When we heard he was getting tested for it, you kind of say, ‘OK, well, he’ll be OK, just going to be quarantined and all that.’ But then when you hear he’s on the respirator, he’s in a medically induced coma, the trend is not heading in the right direction. You’re just devastated.”
Allard graduated from Ridgewood High School in 2012 before continuing his lacrosse career at Bates College in Maine. After graduation, Allard went on to work for Bank of America in New York City.
In an interview with the local NBC affiliate in Maine, Bates men lacrosse coach Peter Lasagna said he never lost hope Allard would recover.
“I stayed hopeful the whole time,” he said. “But to actually see with my own eyes him walking out, was something.”
“That is Jersey through and through,” said Gov. Murphy. “We almost lost that blessed fellow. Folks, understand that this is real.”