A 12-year-old Little League World Series player from Utah was in critical condition Tuesday with what his family said was a head injury suffered when he fell off the top bunk of his bed at the dormitory complex.
Easton Oliverson is a pitcher and outfielder for the Snow Canyon team out of Santa Clara, Utah. The Little League World Series is set to begin Wednesday in Williamsport. His dad, Jace Oliverson, is an assistant coach on the team.
“I’ve always been a firm believer of prayer and the power that comes with it, and I feel like if people continue to rally around us that he will make a full recovery,” Oliverson told KSL-TV. “Right now it’s slow. They keep telling me it’s a cross-country race.”
Oliverson and his wife Nancy have been providing updates via Facebook and Instagram and are at the hospital with their son.
Oliverson first gave an update on his son’s condition through Facebook and said doctors told him his son had punctured an artery that caused bleeding on the brain and needed a piece of skull removed.
Post-surgery, Easton was seen to be responsive and with the ability to raise his legs and react to touch. The family stated that he was given fentanyl to deal with some agitation he was experiencing and allow his brain to heal.
On Tuesday night, his family announced that Easton's breathing tube is out and that his MRI scan showed positive signs.
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To help cover some of Easton's medical treatment and the family's expenses, they are selling Snow Canyon Allstars gear, which will support his team and a portion will go towards Easton.
They will also be holding a fundraiser on Thursday, Aug. 18 in Utah, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to Easton and his family.
The boy’s uncle has served as family spokesperson and told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Easton fell off the bed while he was sleeping and hit his head.
“We're just at point now where he's just in recovery,” Spencer Beck said in a phone interview. “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.”
Little League World Series officials released a statement Tuesday that said they spoke with the Oliverson family and “were pleased to hear that his medical team remains encouraged by his progress.”
The Santa Clara team was the first from Utah to make the Little League World Series. Snow Canyon is scheduled to play its first game Friday against the winner of teams from Massachusetts and Tennessee.
“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.”
The family has set up a Venmo account for the kid nicknamed “Tank” to help with bills and expenses.
“We want to make sure when Easton wakes up, he's mentally there for us and can progress from there,” Beck said.