Cory Mackay upgraded

CORY MACKAY's five-week hospital stay ends Wednesday, but not before doctors provided the injured Cougar football player with a going-away present Tuesday morning.

Don Mackay, Cory's father, said the condition of his son's damaged spinal cord was upgraded after Cory demonstrated strength and sensation in his stomach muscles area for the first time since crashing his pickup May 7.

"The doctors and nurses all seem quite encouraged … they were smiling from ear to ear," Don Mackay said in a telephone interview from Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.

Cory hopes to return to Washington State to attend class when fall semester begins Aug. 24. He will continue to undergo daily rehab at his Redmond home.

"It's going just fine," said Mackay's father. "He's very strong and dedicated to it."

Mr. Mackay said his son remains upbeat and was "pretty happy" when he was upgraded Tuesday.

"The last couple days, he's got feeling about 4 inches below where he was originally was (in his upper torso) … hopefully, it keeps going," the elder Mackay said. "It could stop. But we're saying it's going to keep going."

Mackay's father said doctors "don't know" if Cory will walk again, but believe Tuesday's upgrade was a "very encouraging" sign.

CORY'S SPIRITS HAVE been lifted by a steady stream of visitors, including WSU's coaches.

"They've all been very good," Mr. Mackay said. "They've all dropped in one or two times, and a couple of them three or four times.

"That's been very uplifting to Cory because he knows he's still part of it."

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