Turiaf Assistance Fund Established

July 28, 2005

PALO ALTO, Calif. - A "Ronny Turiaf Assistance Fund" has been established by Gonzaga University in conjunction with the NCAA to help defray medical and living expenses during his rehabilitation following open heart surgery.

Turiaf continues to show steady improvement at the Stanford Medical Center following open heart surgery on Tuesday to repair a dilated aortic root. Turiaf was the 37th players selected in the June NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and was playing for the Lakers' Summer League team when his condition was diagnosed.

Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who has remained in Palo Alto with Turiaf and his mother, said the 2005 West Coast Conference Player of the Year has been moved to the intermediate ward of intensive care and took a few steps on Thursday.

"Things seem to be progressing well," Lloyd said.

Turiaf also made his first public statement since his surgery in a statement released by Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

"My surgery went well. I'm feeling fine. I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers. By the grace of God I am doing well," Turiaf said with his mother, Aline Cezar, holding his arm.

The hospital release also said Turiaf "was in good spirits and was being taken care of around the clock by the staff at Stanford Hospital where the surgery took place on Tuesday. The successful heart surgery to repair an enlarged aortic root and preserve his aortic valve took approximately six hours to complete. It was performed by Dr. Craig Miller who stated that Mr. Turiaf's valve was functioning normally and did not need to be replaced. Mr. Turiaf is expected to make a complete and full recovery," according to the release.

The newly-created assistance fund approved by the NCAA will allow Gonzaga to assist Turiaf with medical and living expenses during his rehabilitation that are not otherwise being covered.

If, following Turiaf's rehabilitation, there is money left in the "Ronny Turiaf Assistance Fund," the NCAA will allow Gonzaga to designate the money to be set aside for any future Gonzaga student-athlete who is faced with a similar challenge.

If people would like to help Turiaf they can do either of the following:

1) A portion of the proceeds from the Dan Dickau Charity Classic, which is being held this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center, will go to the "Ronny Turiaf Assistance Fund". Tickets may be purchased in advance from TicketsWest at 1-800-325-7328 or at the door the night of the event.

2) Well-wishers may also send checks to:
Gonzaga University Athletics
c/o Ronny Turiaf Assistance Fund
E 502 Boone Ave.
Spokane, WA 99258-0066

 

 

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