Ohio Boy Hit In Head By Line Drive Continues To Make Progress


Posted on 28th July 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Many people who sustain traumatic brain injury make tremendous strides. The human spirit can defy expectations, or the lack of them, as has been the case with young Luke Holko.

On Sept. 2, 2009 Luke was being held by his dad, Chad Holko, watching a minor league baseball game in Niles, Ohio. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers were playing, and 5-year-old Luke and his father were in the front row, by first base, according to a moving story by Fanhouse.com.


You probably have already figured out what I’m about to tell you. Luke got hit full force in the back of his head by a line drive off the bat of player Ben Carlson. According to Fanhouse, Luke’s cerebellum hit his brain stem from the force of the blow. Doctors put Luke in an induced coma for two days.

He was treated at Akron Children’s Hospital for about a month, and then was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic’s children’s rehab center. He was sent back to the Akron hospital Oct. 30 and finally came home, in a small wheelchair, on Nov. 5, according to Fanhouse.

Physicians didn’t want to give Luke’s father and mother Nicole any long-term prognosis for him. Like many traumatic brain injury patients, Luke had to relearn many tasks, such as how to talk again and how to swallow. His hearing may be returning. He has made a lot of progress since being near-death. 

He went from a wheelchair to a walker in mid-January, and starting walking on his own in May.

Luke’s walking is still not steady. He is off balance, because his brain isn’t sending the proper signals to the nerves in his right leg. He has to get four botox injections every few months in his calf-muscle, according to Fanhouse.  

Carlson, the player whose line drive smashed into Luke’s head, came to visit the boy. They spent about four hours playing together, and had a great time, Fanhouse said, adding that Luke cried when Carlson left.

Here’s wishing that Luke’s progress will continue.

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