A 12-year-old player from Utah, whose team is set to play in the Little League World Series later this week, is awake and speaking after undergoing emergency surgery for a severe head injury he suffered when he fell off the top bunk of a bed early Monday morning, his family said in a Facebook post.
Easton Oliverson, who pitches and plays outfield for the Snow Canyon team from Santa Clara, Utah, suffered the head injury when he fell in a dorm located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was airlifted to a children's hospital in the state, where he underwent surgery.
Oliverson was no longer sedated as of Wednesday and was communicating with his family and doctors. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts sent Oliverson a video offering well wishes, which Oliverson was able to watch on Wednesday.
Oliverson's father, Jace, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, that doctors told him his son had punctured an artery, which caused bleeding on the brain, and needed a piece of skull removed.
"He went through pretty traumatic surgery to get to where he's at, but the doctors are all really positive," Spencer Beck, Easton Oliverson's uncle, told the Salt Lake Tribune. "All of the steps moving forward have been good so far."
Little League World Series officials released a statement Tuesday that said they spoke with the Oliverson family and "were pleased to hear that his medical team remains encouraged by his progress.''
The Snow Canyon team, representing the Mountain Region, is set to play its first game in the Little League World Series on Friday at 3 p.m. ET. Jace Oliverson is an assistant coach on the team.
Brogan Oliverson, who is Easton's younger brother and an alternate player for the team, has been invited to take his place for Team Utah, his family said.
The Santa Clara team was the first from Utah to make the Little League World Series.
"As hard as it will be to not have Easton out there playing, they're still from this community, this is still a historical moment for the state, for Little League and for our community,'' Beck said. "We're cheering them on and maybe they'll have a little inspiration from Easton and they'll go win it all. That would be awesome.''