Coronavirus News

Jack Allard ‘16 in Critical Condition during Battle with COVID-19

Last Updated: March 26, 1:25 p.m.

UPDATE [3-26-20]: Jack has been flown to the hospital at UPenn. His oxygen levels continue to rise, and when his liver function is within a normal range, he will be able to begin treatment.

2016 Bates alum and two-time All-American lacrosse athlete Jack Allard, 25, is currently in critical condition after contracting COVID-19.

A native of Ridgewood N.J., Jack fell ill on March 13 with symptoms including vomiting, back pain and a fever; three days as his health continued to deteriorate, he was hospitalized at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J. Now, after more than a week Jack is in a medically induced coma, breathing with the help of a respirator and waiting for transport to begin intense drug therapy.

In order to be able to take this drug, Remdesivir, Jack needed a confirmed COVID-19 test. However, as days passed and Jack’s condition worsened, his family soon became desperate. According to the Daily Voice, his family reached out to Congressman Josh Gottheimer, hospital administrators and the director of the CDC to expedite the testing process.

Neither the hospital nor the family ever learned what became of the first test; it is presumed to have been lost. A second test was sent to a different lab last Saturday, and Jack finally received a positive confirmation for COVID-19 later that day, almost five days after the initial test. Yet, by the time the result was available, access to Remdesivir had been halted.

Gilead, the company which administers Remdesivir, is currently working on changing its application process in order to deal with the high volume of requests, The New York Times reports. While making the shift to a broader approach, Gilead has suspended its individual compassionate use access program. As an exception, pregnant women, children under 18, and patient showing severe manifestations of the disease may still apply for the drug.

While the status of Jack’s request was previously unknown, his request has since been approved as a severe case, according to his mother Genny Allard in an interview with Fox News host Martha Macallum last night.

Jack was flown by helicopter to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Tuesday night to begin Remdesivir treatment once his oxygen levels and liver function improve.

“It’s our understanding that once he gets there and they settle him in, the drug will be available to him there,” Genny said. “Nobody’s necessarily telling me that directly because we don’t know his new doctors down at Penn, but we’re told that that should happen.”

The UPenn Hospital is a critical care hospital which is better equipt to administer the intense drug therapy Jack needs and provide further care if necessary.

Genny noted that UPenn has access to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines, which she said someone described to her as “dialysis for your lungs.” This machine helps pump and oxygenate a patients blood outside of their body, providing support for the heart and lungs.

The New York Times reported on Monday that many people are sitting in limbo as they wait for their requests to be approved. Although Remdesivir has not been clinically proven to help patients suffering from the Coronavirus, some critically ill patients have shown remarkable improvement after taking the drug. At this point, it’s a desperate last resort.

In Genny’s words, Remdesivir will hopefully work to slow down the virus attacking Jack’s lungs, allowing his body to fight back.

“His doctors say that this is something that can really help him,” she said. “We’re really excited that he might be a candidate for this. It’s really the best chance he has to survive this.”

According to Jack’s mother Genny, he was in good health and had no known underlying conditions which would have put him at increased risk to severe complications.

“Jack is the healthiest person I know, he’s not over weight, he exercises weekly, he’s an All-American lacrosse player at Bates and he continues to play lacrosse,” she said. “He has nothing. He’s not asthmatic, he’s completely healthy, he’s 25 years old, turning 26 in a couple of weeks.”

During this time, the Allard family is unable to physically be with Jack. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and the CDC recommends that patients at home or in hospitals remain isolated, even from loved ones, to prevent further spread of the virus.

Almost 3,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Jersey as of March 23; less than one percent of cases have been fatal. According to the CDC, only 20 percent of people who are hospitalized in the U.S. are between the ages of 20-44 years. 

Jack traveled into Manhattan each day for work, putting him at high risk of contracting COVID-19. New York now accounts for approximately 50 percent of coronavirus cases in the U.S. with the number of cases doubling every three days. As of this morning, New York City had 14,904 confirmed cases alone.

While he was at Bates, Jack was a decorated lacrosse player and the top scorer on the team for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.

In his junior year, he received All-American Honorable Mention by the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (ILA), ranked third in the NESCAC for goals and was named First Team All-New England. He was a USILA/Nike All-American Team Honorable Mention and USILA Scholar All-American in his senior year.

At that time in the program, Bates Men’s Lacrosse Coach Peter Lasagna said it was unusual for a player to receive All-American honors once, let alone twice. Lasagna noted that Jack isn’t physically a large person – his success in lacrosse came from endless practice and a keen eye for unusual plays.

“I hope this doesn’t sound trite, because it’s the absolute truth,” Lasagna said. “He was one of the most focused, driven hard-working people I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching.”

Lasagna’s wife Holly would spot Jack shooting the ball early in the morning at Merrill, “back when it wasn’t necessarily cool to do this if you were a Bates lacrosse player.” He said that Jack understood the geometry of release points in a way not many were able to as a result of countless hours of practice and experimentation.

“[Jack is a] very unassuming, shy, quiet but confident, close to the vest young man – and he just became a superhero when he put a lacrosse stick in his hand,” Lasagna said. “It was all because of how much he loved it, and how much time he put into it.”

Although at first the Allard family wished for privacy, as Jack’s situation progressed they later chose to share his story. This morning, Lasagna sent out a “Bobcat Blast” update to current athletes, parents and alums on Jack’s condition and Genny appeared for an interview with Fox News around 7:30 p.m.

His sister Katie Allard ’19 also attended Bates and played on the women’s lacrosse team.

Jack graduated from Bates with a Politics major and Rhetoric minor. He currently works as an equity analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Manhattan, N.Y. and is a member of the Dead Rabbits Lacrosse Club based in New York City.

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

A previous version of this article said that Jacks health was “on a positive trend.” This was not correct when it was posted or as of 3-28.

Two Brief Stories from Coach Lasagna

These stories are transcribed verbatim with some editing for grammar and facts.

March 23, 2013: Bates vs. Trinity

Jack first started to make noise as a freshman in 2013. We were playing at Trinity and I swapped him in for a senior who played in the same position. I put Jack in, and Jack literally scored on his first three touches, or something like that. At one point after the game, I said to him, “They probably weren’t really prepared, the guy covering you probably had no idea about you.” He said, “Coach, the defender that was covering me, after the third goal he just said, ‘Who the hell are you, you’re not even in the scouting report!’” He was just so angry that this skinny kid, who he had no idea who he was, was just torching him. That’s how he announced himself to the world in NESCAC lacrosse.

April 7, 2015: Bates vs. Tufts

Tufts was the dominant program in the league, never mind New England. At the time, they were ranked No. 1 in the country, and we were going down there to play them at night, which we always do. We were certainly the underdog. We had a game plan we thought was going to be effective if we could execute it. They had a player named John Uppgren, who graduated as the program’s all-time leading scorer in 2016 and now plays professionally for the Boston Cannons – he plays the exact same position, left-handed attackman. And Jack Allard, again this little, skinny, unassuming man, came up to me right as we were about to leave the locker room and he said, “Coach, I just want to let you know, I’m going to show people who the best left-handed attackman on this field is tonight.” And in a game where we ended up winning 12-8, Jack Allard had four goals and indeed scored more than John Uppgren did from Tufts, and we won. It was a huge deal.

8 Replies to “Jack Allard ‘16 in Critical Condition during Battle with COVID-19

  1. Prayers this drug helps you recover quickly and completely. Your Mom is amazing. Celebrating together for mother’s day…priceless!

  2. Obvious cause of damage to lungs, not just heart deaths: on Lacrosse dangers “Most worrisome, however, is the rising rate of commotio cordis in teenage male lacrosse players, in which a nonpenetrating blow to the chest from a shot causes ventricular fibrillation, which can result in death despite an otherwise healthy heart.”
    He was a small lad who won awards twice as many as any other from trying harder – strong suspicion lacross non-penetrating blows now cause lung damage not just fatal heart damage.

    Why isn’t that suspicion being addressed as possible rising health threat to our young boys, that Main school may have killed him years after returning to New Jersey.
    https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/five-most-dangerous-sports-for-boys/

  3. Oh gosh I don’t even know where to begin. Being a mother of three I can’t even imagine what you are going through watching your child and feeling helpless. You are in our hearts and prayers here in Kansas City Missouri area! I followed your story ever since I heard of it from the first day and I pray to God that he spared your family and your son and I hope to God that the medicine they’re talkin about works! I’m so happy he was finally flown to a good Hospital to help him and wish it would have been done earlier. Like all those hours I remember reading that they kept saying they were going to do it and then they didn’t do it. Too much time goes by then I think maybe this time is because most doctors, hospitals, healthcare professionals just don’t know what the hell to do and if they don’t, they need to get out of the way and let people that do know what to do take care of people like your son! I feel like I just want to hug you forever Mama Genne! I think my phone is spelling your name wrong and I apologize but please know we are all praying for you and your family and honestly it does sound from our end here that things are getting better for Jack. I hope so and if not I would also hope they would try the medication that our president keeps talking about! I have seen heard and read about a bunch of people who are saying their loved one was saved by the medication the president and his task force is speaking of. I can’t even begin to say the name of it some kind of hydro something or other plus another medication kind of like a z-pack. Sounds much more simple to me. I’ve never heard of the one they’re using or going to be using on Jack. That doesn’t mean anything necessarily as I am not a doctor. I work for the government, the part that cuts refund checks, 🙂 and this is the first time in two decades that I’ve work there that we are completely shut down and no one is allowed in the building that normally 10,000 people are working due to being high peak tax season. This is a serious thing and more people need to realize it! My 34 year old son Derek said on Monday that he didn’t feel too good and then didn’t go to work today which he does and not even miss work with a horrible flu or even when he had his wisdom teeth removed. He works for a freight company who God knows what all they come in contact with daily! He doesn’t have a fever but he has a runny nose and he just doesn’t feel himself. He’s not one to get sick normally like a lot of people so I know if he has called in sick to work he must be sick of something. He’s SO hardheaded and*doesn’t believe it could happen to him* We have a very low amount of people in our area with the virus (that we know of) but still. I’m worried. We are NEVER supposed to bury our babies! It sounds like Jack is doing better though and thank you Jesus for that!! Please advise! We are all watching how you guy’s are treated!! Please reach out if you would like to talk, have advice, need to cry, or ANYTHING!! Honestly, here for help if we can do anything at all!! Might not sound like much but I have reached out to my Cities Superbowl Winner’s, The KC Chief’s to see if we could get something to Jack from the champs!! They have been doing SO much in our community to feed kids and so much more… Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and many of our guy”s are on Twitter talking about it and raising the stakes for the next guy. ie) Hill made a statement on Twitter and Kelce doubled it and so on… These guys are amazing! Not sure if Jack even likes the Chiefs but… he’s a guy, an athlete and bet he watched the Superbowl! 😊 Not sure how to get a hold of you so if you see this or someone who knows you, please pass the info on. We Love You All!! #HatsOffToJack ♥️
    allison.denise.1123@gmail.com
    Denise from KC Missouri!

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