Former Husker battles COVID-19

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 6:13 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:20 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Keven Lightner is in the intensive care unit at a Lincoln hospital battling COVID-19. According to his ex-wife, Erin, Lightner began experiencing symptoms on July 19. Nine days later, with his symptoms intensified, Lightner was admitted to the hospital. Erin says medical professionals claim Keven’s case of coronavirus is among the most severe they’ve seen.

Lightner has experienced a collapsed lung, complications with his kidneys, and a fever reaching as high as 104 degrees, according to Erin Lightner. She says Keven has been heavily sedated over the past week and is fighting for his life.

“What we’ve learned is it can hit anybody,” Erin Lightner said. “It can hit Keven who’s been an athlete and in top shape his whole life. It can hit somebody who’s older and they pull through. There’s really no science to it. That’s the ugliness of COVID.”

Lightner played on the Nebraska football team in the 1980s. He was an All-Big 8 offensive lineman in 1987. Lightner has spent the past two decades coaching, which has included stops at UNO, Ohio, and Vanderbilt. Lightner is currently on the coaching staff of the Fujitsu Frontiers, a professional team in Japan. With the Frontiers on break, Lightner returned to Lincoln this summer. He arrived in Lincoln in June to spend time with children and attend his son’s high school graduation. The Lightner family believes Keven contracted coronavirus in Nebraska, not overseas.

To help the Lightner family, a GoFundMe page has been set up to assist with the family’s medical expenses:

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