From the beginning of 13 year old Cristian's baseball days with Southwestern Little League, he has shown determination and grit like no other kid his age. In only seven short years, Cristian has proven himself a champion, both on the field, as an all-around player and off the field rallying his team.
Cristian has been called a coach's dream, because he always tries his best, listens to direction and never gives up. He can play any position he is placed at and will do it with a smile.
To his teammates, Cristian is a positive role model and motivates his peers He will be the first one to say to a teammate who struck out or missed a ball, " It's all right. You'll get it the next time." Or the first to say "Come on, let's get on the fence and cheer for them."
To the families in the stands and to others around the park who have watched Cristian grow up, Cristian is known for his outstanding baseball skills, good sportsmanship and self confidence. An example of this would be through his confident mannerism at bat and how he flashes a smile to the crowd just before. Once Cristian connects, he takes that ball for a ride!
It was only last Saturday night, April 14th, on the Jr field at Lawrence Park, where Cristian was up to bat. He tried to duct from a wild pitch. The pitch still made contact with the top of Cristian's helmet. Like any other kid in his position, Cristian took his base, unaware of a serious injury to his carotid artery. The game went on and Cristian continued doing what he does best, playing ball.
Then on April 17th, Tuesday night's game against los Ninos at Littletown Park, it was business as usual. Top of the 3rd inning, Cristian was on second base and taking the lead to third, when the pitcher attempted to pick him off. Cristian slid back to second base head first, aggravating the unknown injury to the carotid artery. It was then that his injury would begin to rear itself. At the bottom of the third inning, he and his teammates were warming up. Cristian was at centerfield when he collapsed.
Unsure of what had just happened, his teammates checked on him. His coach is unaware of what they were about to see, ran out to where Cristian. That was when a coach shouted, "Call 911!" It was every parent's worst nightmare, unsure of what was taking place. Both of Cristians parents and many others run out to the field. Little did we know at the time there was a blessing in disguise. The other parents who ran out on the field was a former first responder (EMT) , registered nurses and other medical professionals. We thank God for these people, who started the immediate care needed until the ambulance arrived.
Cristian's teammates along with the teammates from Los Ninos all took a knee in front of their dugouts. When the ambulance arrived and took over treatment on Cristian. His teammates began to pray. As Cristian was being wheeled off of the field on a stretcher. He was still beaming with positivity and raised his right arm showing an okay sign. Both teams began to clap for him at that time.
Once he arrived at the hospital the family was told the harsh reality of his injury. Cristian had suffered a stroke, seizure and left side paralysis. All caused by the blood clot which was released from the injured artery. This was just the beginning of multiple Strokes Cristian would have throughout the night. Upon MRI results, Cristian still had 5 more blood clots. The doctor's treated with medication, unaware of the outcome or possibility of more harm being done.
Once Cristian was stabilized. He was moved into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He remained there for 3 days and as he showed progress in his recovery he was placed in a non ICU room.
Cristian remain positive through it all and is positive about the long hard road to recovery which lies ahead of him. He has been blessed with many visitors; family, close friends, teammates and other teammates from various little leagues.
Through God's grace, Cristian's next step is to move into an intensive Rehabilitation Center. He will be pushed to the limit with physical therapy. However, he has been told that he will make a complete recovery. Thank you Lord! Cristian is ready to take on the challenge.
We would like to take this time to thank God and everyone who has been with us both near and far through our ordeal. The power of prayer has been our refuge. We humbly ask for continued prayers for our son and our family.
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