Update on Wild Bill Sproat

Everybody’s favorite Aggie superfan has a message for all his friends.

“Tell them thanks for the prayers,” Sproat said Sunday from his hospital bed at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

Sproat, the large, lovable character with a front-row seat at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, has been hospitalized for more than a week after making a visit to the emergency room at Logan Regional Hospital last Friday.

There, what he thought might be pneumonia at the worst, quickly was diagnosed as something much more serious and Sproat was life-flighted to IMC where he spent nearly a week under sedation.

“I go in Friday and didn’t wake up until Thursday,” Sproat told the Deseret News. I was under for a while and when I woke up I was scared and nervous.”

Sproat wasn’t just a little sick. He had a viral infection that attacked his heart and could have easily led to his death.

Instead, the lovable guy who enjoys distracting free-throw shooters during USU basketball games, is still with us but has a long road to recovery — a road he’s not sure the direction of.

A message on his blog posted by a family member described what happened.

“After pneumonia like symptoms Friday June 11 Bill Sproat went to Logan Regional Hospital where in the Emergency Room it was determined that he was in need of critical care for his heart. Life flight flew Bill to a Salt Lake City hospital where he is currently being cared for,” the blog entry said.

“It has since been determined that bill has a diagnosis of idiopathic cardiomyopathy which essentially means that his heart is enlarged. The cause of his enlarged heart is unknown at this time and further testing will be performed. The current theory is that it was caused by a virus.”

The viral infection was something anyone could have experienced. But Sproat admits there were other considerations that made his condition worse. A family history of heart illness, his stubbornness about not going to a hospital and his physical size all contributed to the situation he’s found himself in.

“It was me being a stupid guy and putting it off and not going to the hospital,” Sproat said.

Sproat — a self-described redshirt junior — said he will have a long road to recovery ahead of him and he’ll try to rest as much as possible and will not be enrolling for classes at USU in the fall as he reduces the stress he’s put himself under.

“I’ll still go to the games and be there to support the team,” he said. “But I’ve got to take it easy for a semester.”

Sproat said doctors removed a breathing tube on Thursday as he came out of sedation and he’s now enjoying a diet of soft foods like mashed potatoes and popsicles while he eases back to health.

After Sproat was hospitalized, friends and fans have expressed wishes through text messages and on the Internet. A Facebook page “Prayers for Wild Bill” has nearly 500 members and is updated with news from family members on a frequent basis.

“I just want everyone to know how much I appreciate them,” Sproat said. “It really means a lot to me that they’re giving me so much support.”

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