Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Little League World Series: Utah player who fell from bunk bed is awake, speaking after emergency head surgery

Easton Oliverson, the Little League World Series player who was in critical condition after falling off the top bunk of a bed, is awake and speaking, according to a social media post from his family. The 12-year-old pitcher and outfielder for the Snow Canyon team out of Santa Clara, Utah, was hospitalized with a serious head injury. 

On Monday, Oliverson was taken to the hospital after falling from the bed, which was located in a dorm in Williamsport, Pa. According to Oliverson’s father, Jace, he suffered a punctured artery that caused bleeding on the brain.

“This morning’s updates have us all in tears of joy. We couldn’t be more proud of our Easton, and more grateful for the prayers that have helped him get to this point,” read the update posted Wednesday.

Wednesday was also a big day for Oliverson for a different reason. The young baseball player got to watch a video sent to him by his favorite MLB player, Mookie Betts.

“Hey, Easton, it’s Mookie Betts. I just want you to know that we are praying for you, thinking of you and I hope to see you soon, my man,” the Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder said.

When the incident happened, Oliverson’s teammates heard him fall and were able to get help quickly. His uncle, Spencer Beck, said the fast action by all involved may have saved Oliverson’s life.

“We’re just at point now where he’s just in recovery,” Beck told the AP. “The teammates heard him fall, thank goodness. When they got into surgery, the doctor talked to Jace and said had he not gotten into surgery but 30 minutes later, he would have been dead.”

Oliverson is currently recovering after surgery, which involved removing a piece of his skull to stop the brain bleed, and he is still using a breathing tube.

Little League released a statement detailing Oliverson’s accident and recovery. 

“On the morning of Monday, August 15, 2022, Easton Oliverson on the Mountain Region team from Snow Canyon Little League (Santa Clara, Utah) sustained an injury within the dormitory complex,” the LLWS said in a statement. “The player was transported to the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. As of the afternoon of Tuesday, August 16, Little League officials spoke with Easton’s family and were pleased to hear that his medical team remains encouraged by his progress.

“At the request of his family, Little League International encourages all to join us in keeping the Snow Canyon Little League player and his family in our thoughts and prayers, as we wish for a full and complete recovery. Little League International will continue to use all available resources, including those provided by UPMC in North Central Pa., through the Player Wellness Center, to support the player, his family, and his coaches and teammates, as we navigate this unfortunate situation. In the interest of privacy, it would be inappropriate to comment further, and additional updates will be issued as they are available.”

Oliverson’s team is still slated to make their Little League World Series debut on Friday, when the Mountain region representatives will play the winner of Tennessee (Southeast) and Massachusetts (New England). Beck said the team will rally around Easton and play for their community back home.

“As hard as it will be to not have Easton out there playing, they’re still from this community, this is still a historical moment for the state, for Little League and for our community,” Beck said. “We’re cheering them on and maybe they’ll have a little inspiration from Easton and they’ll go win it all. That would be awesome.”

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