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Avondale Student Athlete Seriously Injured

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AUBURN HILLS (WWJ) – An Avondale High School student has suffered serious injuries after being hit in the chest with a baseball.

School officials say the 16-year-old student, who hasn’t been named, was taking part in pre-season baseball conditioning  on Monday morning when he missed a ball that was thrown to him.  The ball hit the student in the heart, causing him to lose consciousness.  

School district officials say the Junior Varsity baseball coach administered chest compressions immediately while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. 

WWJ spoke with Dr. Nancy Cutler with Beaumont Children’s Hospital, who said the impact caused a state of confusion of the heart.

“It occurs when there’s a real sudden and powerful blow to the chest, directly over the heart. The impact has to occur at the exact fraction of a second to trigger this disorganization of the electrical part of the heart,” she said.

“So, it’s so rare because it’s such a fraction of a millisecond that it has to occur, with such a powerful blow, at the exact angle,” Cutler said.

Cutler said the condition is most commonly seen in baseball, but can also happen in other sports including hockey and martial arts. Cutler says about two-thirds of the people who have an event like this do not survive.

“We are all praying for an immediate and complete recovery. Avondale is a very tight-knit community and we will do whatever we can to assist the family during this young man’s recovery,” said school superintendent Dr. George Heitsch, in a statement.

The student remained in intensive care, Tuesday, at Children’s Hospital in Detroit.

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