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Family asks for prayers as Eastern Kentucky head coach Walt Wells remains at UK Hospital

Wells suffered a major "cardiac episode" Sunday morning

Eastern Kentucky University head football coach Walt Wells is continuing under close medical care at the University of Kentucky Hospital following what initially was termed a “cardiac episode” Sunday.

Wells, on the verge of starting his third year as the Colonels’ head coach and a longtime college football assistant coach with stops at EKU, SEC stops at both Kentucky and Tennessee, among other programs, is still in stable condition after doctors discovered a major blockage in the heart due to Wells’s medical emergency.

UPDATE: As of late Tuesday evening, EKU officials tell FootballScoop that Wells has been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and into a step-down room; he is alert and asking for water, as well as other communications. 

Jennifer Wells, Walt’s wife, shared with former Wells teammate and longtime friend Joe Dubin, an award-winning Nashville media personality, on Tuesday that doctors and medical staff “are cautiously optimistic,” and she also asked for prayers for Coach Wells “that he can breathe on his own once they wean him off the vent.”

Wells has been sedated while under around-the-clock medical care at UK Hospital following Sunday morning’s emergency, which required immediate medical procedure including a balloon pump and in-depth lab work. 

Eastern Kentucky on the field last season under Wells engineered one of Football Championship Subdivision’s biggest turnarounds with a 7-4 campaign, and the Colonels had spent preseason camp having eyed a return for the program to the FCS Playoffs.

EKU is scheduled to open its season Friday at Eastern Michigan before a Sept. 10 trip to Bowling Green. The Colonels’ first home game is scheduled for Sept. 17 against Charleston Southern. 

Update: Good news. Coach Wells isn't out of the woods but the compass is pointed in the right direction.