LAURINBURG — Scotland football star Jaylend Ratliffe is out of the intensive care unit, according to a source. After beginning rehab earlier in the week, Carolinas Medical Center doctors felt comfortable enough to move him in the pediatric wing of the hospital.
Scotland coach Richard Bailey, who made the trip to Charlotte earlier Friday before his team arrived for a scrimmage game against Mallard Creek, said Ratliffe is doing well, but stressed it is going to be a slow, but steady, recovery process.
“He’s starting to do some rehab, and walking around — he’s got a long ways to go but he’s starting to do some things.”
Ratliffe has yet to pass a swallow test, so he will remain on a feeding tube until he does.
By last Friday, Ratliffe was off of his ventilator and was able to speak in limited fashion.
While Ratliffe remains in Charlotte, the Scotland County community has supported him at home with several fundraisers. The latest, a plate sale, will take place on Aug. 28 at First United Methodist Church, at the corner of Church and Main streets in Laurinburg.
Ray Herring, of Southernway Catering, has organized the sale, calling it, “Cooking for Jaylend.”
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4-7 p.m. Plates are $7 each for either chicken or pork chops with two sides, drink and dessert. A plate with both chicken and pork can be purchased for $10.
Tickets can be purchased downtown at Harley’s Tuxedo or the Gospel Music and Christian Bookstore; at Community Drugs or Holmes Insurance, at 1028 and 615 Atkinson Street, respectively; at Carrie & Co., at 898 U.S. 401 or Taylor Made Cuts, across from Scotland High School on Church Street.
Herring’s goal is to serve at least 2,000 customers.
“Hopefully we can write him a big check at the end,” he said.
An online fundraiser, at www.gofundme.com/cenyp0, reached $8,280 before eventually closing at the beginning of last week. Donald and Bobbie Lowe are selling “2 Strong” T-shirts in honor of Ratliffe. The shirts costs $20 and the family can be reached at 910-280-9930.
Also, an account for Ratliffe and his family has been set up at State Employees Credit Union by Laurinburg Police and Scotland County Rescue Squad. The account is only accessible to Ratliffe’s mom, Sharon, and anyone can donate to the account through any SECU branch.
The Mid-South 4-A schools will join the Southeastern 4-A in taking donations for Jaylend Ratliffe at their first home games, an effort the conference announced last Thursday. Scotland travels to play Mid-South opponent South View for their opening game on Aug. 22.