Schermerhorn family

The Schermerhorn family, from left: Luke, 15, DeeDee, 49, Tom, 51, Rachel, 24, and Maddie, 19. Tom is currently on a ventilator at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne battling the COVID-19 virus.

LIGONIER — DeeDee Schermerhorn, the wife of West Noble Athletic Director Tom Schermerhorn, confirmed to The Goshen News that Tom has been diagnosed with COVID-19. She also said it’s a day-to-day process currently with no set timeline on when Tom may be able to be released from the hospital.

Tom has been on a ventilator at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne since March 30. The AD had been battling a severe flu for almost a week, and it progressed to the point where he was taken to the hospital. He was tested for COVID-19 upon arriving at the hospital, and the results came back to the family a few days later.

“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster over here, especially over the weekend,” DeeDee said. “But things are looking good (Monday); he’s stable and the doctors keep telling me that he just needs time. They’ve noticed, with this virus, that they don’t rush it. You just need to ease the patient into the next step, whatever that may be, and that’s kind of what they’re doing now.”

The Schermerhorn family has not been able to visit Tom in the hospital due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many hospitals are limiting the number of people allowed in the building. Since Tom has coronavirus, the family has been forced to quarantine themselves for the past week as well.

DeeDee said doctors call the family every day to give updates. On Sunday, the family was able to call Tom and talk to him. A doctor held up the phone to his ear and the family all spoke to him. Tom is still unable to talk because he’s on the ventilator.

“Everything just weighs heavily on you,” DeeDee said. “You know they’re taking the best care of him as they can, and they have been great at communicating with us each day.”

News was broken about Tom’s condition last Tuesday by Purdue volleyball coach David Shondell. Tom and DeeDee’s middle child, Maddie, plays volleyball for the Boilermakers. When Maddie told Shondell about the news of her father, Shondell asked if he could share it on social media and ask people to pray for Tom. Maddie let him.

“Certainly, the prayer warriors have come out in full force,” Shondell said. “It was amazing to see, in that first 24 hours, that once all those prayers started to be lifted for Tom, the family and the doctors, that he began to improve.”

Shondell said he knew he had to help the Schermerhorn family right away when he was told the news about Tom.

“Tom Schermerhorn is one of the greatest people I’ve ever known,” Shondell said. “There’s something special about this cat, and when you see a guy that’s an educator and administrator and works with kids all the time and is so giving, and then all of a sudden he needs help, I’m not going to hesitate to try and reach others to get on the bandwagon and help him out.”

Maddie has appreciated her head coach remaining contact with her throughout this time.

“He has checked up on me every single day. He’s called me a few times and he wants to be as helpful as possible in this situation,” Maddie said. “It’s very reassuring to know I have a coach like him that cares about me off the court as well. I’m very lucky.”

Community support for Tom has been far-reaching. Members of the West Noble community were asked to wear school gear on Friday. All the members of the Schermerhorn family took a picture together in their West Noble gear that day and posted it on social media.

“It’s just been a blessing,” DeeDee said. “I have friends who are sending me daily Scriptures, quotes … it’s been overwhelming. If someone is running to the store, they ask, ‘What do you need?’ We’ve had so many blessings just left on our porch and our picnic table.”

It’s been an emotional time for the Schermerhorn family. DeeDee has been appreciative of all the support and has advice for families going through this same situation.

“Just (want to) thank everyone for the uplifting they’ve given us and the encouragement. It’s sweet, and we just appreciate it,” DeeDee said. “Just hold your families tight and hug them, hug them, hug them.”

Austin Hough can be reached at austin.hough@goshennews.com or at 574-538-2360. Follow him on Twitter at @AustinHoughTGN.

Austin Hough can be reached at austin.hough@goshennews.com or at 574-538-2360. Follow him on Twitter at @AustinHoughTGN.

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