Jason Lockhart, the 15-year-old son of former Atlanta Braves player Keith Lockhart, is on life support after being hit in the face with a baseball on June 17 during a tournament in South Carolina. Jason’s sister Sydney has been posting frequent updates on her brother’s health, writing on Facebook that he had surgery on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the news has not been great after Jason’s surgery on Tuesday morning. Sydney wrote on Facebook that there have been more complications.
What seems like a simple surgery today has become a massive ball of complications. Some blood in his lungs, a fever, bleeding.. it is all so overwhelming. Lord please calm our anxious hearts and touch our sweet Jason. Help the skilled doctors find the source with complete and 100% surety. We love you God. We Trust you. They are taking Jason down to surgery now.
In another update on Wednesday, Sydney shared some good news:
Jason came back from surgery with a great report from the doctor!!!! They are confident that this resolved the bleeding problem. He is awake and still in recovery. We are bedside and helping keep him comfortable during the transition without his breathing tube. Thank you so much for all your prayers!!!!! Keep them coming as he begins his recovery.
Jason is the son of Keith Lockhart, a second baseman who spent the majority of his 10 years in baseball with the Atlanta Braves from 1997 to 2002. He also played for the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals.
Here’s what you need to know about Jason’s health.
1. Jason’s Doctors Put Him on Life Support After They Couldn’t Stop the Bleeding From a Broken Nose
Sydney first posted a message on Facebook on June 20 from Children’s Hospital at Scottish Rite in Atlanta, where Jason is being treated. During the baseball game, he was trying to reach home on a passed ball when the catcher picked up the ball and threw to the pitcher. However, the ball hit Jason in the face instead. “His nose was broken pretty badly and he needed some stitches,” Sydney wrote.
At first, it looked like he would be OK. On the following day, he recovered and was in “minimal pain.” But on June 19, his mother and father decided to have another doctor look at the injury in Atlanta. While at the doctor’s office, he began bleeding and the doctors couldn’t stop it. Sydney wrote:
They could not stop it no matter what they did nor could the doctor. So they went to an urgent care facility and had two nurses and a doctor working on him. They could not stop the bleeding even after using neosynephrine, nitro, and cauterizing it. They called an ambulance and transported him to Scottish Rite in Atlanta. They did a CT scan and determined that the fracture was pretty severe. The tear on the inside kept causing him to bleed profusely and it could not be stopped… After they discharged him, he could not handle the pain so they readmitted him. It’s a good thing that they did because he had another massive bleed at 4 am so the hospital finally saw first hand how bad his bleeds were and how hard they were to stop. They brought in the surgeon. The surgeon took him back at 7:30 this morning. They stitched up the laceration in his nose and reset his broken bone also. He did great during surgery and is now resting.
Sydney later wrote that there was an artery cut by the fracture. On June 20, his broken nose was reset and he had surgery to stitch the inside of it.
2. Jason Was Put on Life Support on June 23
On June 21, doctors put Jason on a ventilator “so that his body can rest and the machines can do the hard work,” Sydney wrote. On the next day, he was taken off the ventilator and the doctors tried to stop the bleeding. “If he bleeds again, they will immediately put the tube back in and take him to surgery,” she wrote.
Sadly, on June 23, Sydney wrote that the family was still not getting “the answers we wanted.” There was no explanation for why Jason continued to bleed.
On that same day, Jason was put on life support. 11Alive reports that he was sedated to a “paralytic level” so doctors could contain the bleeding. They have at least determined that the bleeding is coming from his nose, not his brain.
3. The Lockhart Family Hasn’t Set up Any Charity Pages
The Lockhart family has not set up any official GoFundMe funds or other fundraising sites to raise money for Jason’s medical care. Instead, they just want thoughts and prayers.
In a Facebook post on her daughter’s page, Jason’s mother thanked everyone for keeping Jason in their thoughts and prayers. She wrote that the family has been blown away by Jason’s strength.
“Through your prayers, and God’s hand, this uneventful night gave me and our family that jolt of faith and hope that we have been desperately needing,” Jason’s mother wrote. “Thank you for those that have sat with us in the middle of the night while Jason was in surgery, prayed with us, cried with us, distracted us, brought food and snacks, and the many texts and emails full of scripture, love, prayers, or anything on your hearts to reach out to us. We feel the love and comfort and we are so grateful.”
4. Keith Lockhart Says Jason’s Family Is ‘Confident He’s Going to Be OK’
Lockhart has also been keeping his Twitter followers updated on the situation. Lockhart said on June 23 that the family is “confident” that Jason will “be OK.”
Lockhart’s most recent update came on June 25. “Jason just came out of surgery Dr.’s located 3 areas of bleeding &stopped the flow of blood. We are all encouraged about today,” he wrote, adding “#StaySTrongJ.”
On June 25, Sydney wrote that the doctors decided to do an Endovascular Embolization, in which they went into his arteries and blood vessels to find the “two most practical areas that could be feeding the areas where Jason has been bleeding.” They now think they understand where the bleeding is coming from.
“They will watch him for 24 hours and then he will go into surgery [Monday] to have his nose repacked and this will give them an opportunity to look back behind the packing to make sure there are no other areas bleeding. We are tired here but hopeful,” Sydney wrote. “The prayers and support that everyone has given to us is overwhelming and we are truly touched.”
5. Lockhart Currently Works as a Scout for the Chicago Cubs
Lockhart played in the big leagues from 1994 to 2003. Although he was drafted by the Reds in 1986, he didn’t make his MLB debut until 1994 with the Padres. In 1995 and 1996, he played for the Royals. From 1997 to 2002, he was with the Braves, playing in the 1999 World Series.