When I heard about an 8-year-old boy who died after a baseball hit his head and neck, my heart sank right into my gut and I haven't been able to get his family out of my mind.
Dylan Williams was doing what plenty of other kids his age do in the summertime -- attending baseball practice -- when a ball was thrown to him while he wasn't looking. It hit him on the right side of his head and neck, which sent him into cardiac arrest.
One of his coaches performed CPR to try and save him, but sadly he was pronounced brain dead at the hospital after being without oxygen for 40 minutes. His parents were finally forced to take him off life support, and his organs have been donated.
You can hear more about what happened to Dylan in this video.
OMG. This story devastated me for many reasons, but mainly because I can't count the number of times I've cringed watching my 7-year-old son's little league games and practices. I've always been terrified that a ball will wind up hitting him in the head, face, or chest.
They may be young, but some of the kids on his team can hit and throw pretty hard. It's impossible not to worry about how badly injured they could get if one of them were to be struck by a ball.
And another thing? We're still working on getting my son to pay attention on the field. Half the time he's staring off into space instead of keeping his eye on the ball. No matter how many times the coaches instruct him to keep his glove in front of his face, it's not enough for him to do it consistently.
I can't lie -- hearing about what happened to Dylan makes me more and more nervous about letting him continue to play baseball as the years go on. Yes, I know how paranoid and neurotic that sounds, because this was a freak accident -- but it's still natural to be concerned after hearing about something this horrific.
But we can't stop our kids from living their lives, which sports are a big part of. I guess all we can do is try our best to teach them how to stay focused and play safe, and hope and pray that we're never faced with a situation like this.
I can't even begin to express how much sympathy I have for those poor parents. No mom or dad should ever be faced with taking their child to ball practice only to have him wind up losing his life over it.
Do you worry about something like this happening during your child's sports practices?
Image via andy.simmons/Flickr