Riekeman made the announcement on the university’s Facebook page on Tuesday, where he writes that Williams was hospitalized early Saturday.
“Everyone is expecting the best and that includes the hope that he may be transferred to the rehab center sometime later in the week,” Riekeman said. “Not much more is known at this time except that, as you would expect, he is ‘challenging’ the medical doctors and staff to see things differently/Chiropractically.”
Riekeman said the Williams’ family has asked that no visits or calls be made at this time.
Dr. Bobby Gise, who started the rugby program at Life in 1980 as a student there and now operates a chiropractic office in Jasper, said he’s been receiving daily reports on Williams’ status from his circle of friends.
“I call to get a daily update, and supposedly he’s been progressing surprisingly well,” Gise said. “I would say he’s recovering nicely.”
Gise said Williams is being looked after by his daughter, Kim, who lives next door to him in Powder Springs.
In an email to the Journal on Wednesday, Riekeman called Williams a charismatic individualist who founded the largest Chiropractic college in the world at a time when anything other than traditional medicine was considered suspect.
“All of us at Life University wish for him a speedy recovery,” Riekeman said. “If anyone has the grit to fight back, it would certainly be Dr. Williams.”
Williams served as president of Life from 1974 to 2002. His colorful personality continues to mark the campus, particularly at the front gates on Barclay Circle, where a sculpture of his hands, 15-feet tall and cast in bronze, welcome visitors. Another sculpture atop the university’s student center features a bare-chested Native American dancing. Rumor had it when the statue was dedicated in the early 1990s it was meant to resemble Williams.