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Larry Blustein's Hard-Fought COVID Fight Is Far From Over

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida high school football guru Larry Blustein is on a slow road to recovery in a hard-fought battle with COVID-19 that left him in critical condition.

Blustein is not the type to ask for help but thanks to a close friend, he's getting it.

Blustein is the undisputed oracle of high school football in South Florida. Pivotal in helping CBS4 News create the CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy.

For years, he has helped many under the radar athletes get college scholarships. His impact, says longtime friend Harold Cole, has been immeasurable.

"I don't know even know how you can measure it because the fact is, the amount of kids that he has helped and he continues to help," said Cole.

Cole, former athletic director at Coral Gables High, says it's "Blu" who now needs the help.

A serious bout with COVID sent Blustein to the hospital for weeks. He was in the intensive care unit on a ventilator. Now he faces a long rehab which is why Cole launched a GoFundMe page to help his longtime friend.

So far, the response has been overwhelming.

"We've raised over $60,000 dollars with so many $5 and $10 dollars with little notes thanking Mr. Blustein."

Cole says many of those donations have come with notes of gratitude from parents, on how Blustein opened doors to change their sons' lives.

"He's going to college, and he has the opportunity to live out his dream and that's what Larry has done for hundreds of kids," said Cole.

Blustein has gone into his own pocket for years to travel the state to keep tabs on high school football. Coaches who have come to admire him are now wishing him the best.

"Blu please get back soon, we miss you! I love you! Feels weird without him being here but I know he's with us in spirit, we just wish him a speedy recovery," said Miami Central High head football coach Roland Smith.

While he slowly recuperates, Cole says Blustein is grateful for the help.

"He doesn't have to thank me watching everybody and seeing what everybody is doing and how they are responding is more than thanks enough. "Help our boy Blu. Donate whatever they would like to donate and every penny is really, really appreciated."

Blustein has fought through other health challenges including a kidney transplant.

No one is betting against him in this fight either.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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