DAYTON, Ohio – Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery was present for the surgery of his son, Patrick, on Wednesday morning and returned to Dayton for the Hawkeyes’ game against Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Patrick, 13, had a tumor removed from his thyroid in the procedure at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
“Today’s surgery for my son Patrick went as planned,’’ McCaffery said in a statement issued by the university. “Doctors will continue tests in the coming days to determine further treatment. Patrick was in good spirits after the operation.’’
Patrick’s medical condition and the timing of the surgery prompted an outpouring of support from various places around the basketball world.
NBA star Chris Paul phoned the teenager on Tuesday to offer his support. Paul later tweeted about the call, saying “Plz keep my buddy Pat McCaffery in ur prayers 2nite as he undergo's surgery 2moro morning. I'm stronger today after talking to him!’’
Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg also voiced his thoughts on Twitter on Wednesday: “Thinking of the McCaffery family today. Hoping and praying for the best.’’
Iowa recruit Trey Dickerson made it his personal mission to get enough people to use the hashtag #TeamPat on Twitter until it trended. He succeeded.
“The outpouring of support and encouragement Patrick and our family have received this past week has been overwhelming,’’ McCaffery said in Wednesday’s statement. “Words cannot express how genuinely thankful we are to everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers.”
The Hawkeyes are scheduled to play Tennessee at 8:10 p.m. in Dayton Arena.
After being with family as his 13-year-old son Patrick underwent surgery this morning at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery is on his way to Dayton, Ohio, where he will join the Iowa basketball team for tonight’s NCAA tournament game against Tennessee.
McCaffery released a statement thanking people for the support they have given his family since Patrick was diagnosed to have a tumor in his thyroid which was operated on today.
“Today’s surgery for my son Patrick went as planned,’’ McCaffery said. “Doctors will continue tests in the coming days to determine further treatment. Patrick was in good spirits after the operation.
“The outpouring of support and encouragement Patrick and our family have received during the past week has been overwhelming. Words cannot express how genuinely thankful we are to every who has offered their thoughts and priors.’’
McCaffery is scheduled to rejoin his team in time for pregame meetings before Iowa tips off its first NCAA game since 2006 around 8 p.m. today.