A 6-year-old boy was hospitalized after his family said he was injured by a ball while watching a Charlotte Knights game last weekend.
James David’s mother said she believes the ball hit her son in the fourth inning of a game against the Durham Bulls.
The family was sitting on the first row on the third base side, but James’ father had just gone up to the concession stands.
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Kristy David said the ball came at them, and they didn’t have time to react. James was hit in the head.
“The batter was up and hit the ball, and it just happened so fast,” Kristy David said. “The ball came straight to us.”
James suffered a skull fracture and a bad concussion, his family said. He has bleeding on both sides of his brain.
“Immediately, just the speed of the ball hitting his head, I knew it wasn’t going to be good,” Kristy David said.
Dr. David Jacobs, a Carolinas Medical Center trauma physician, said getting hit by a ball off a bat can involve serious injuries.
“If you get hit in the head with a baseball going a hundred miles an hour, you can sustain skull fractures; you can sustain internal bleeding in your head that can possibly be fatal,” he said.
The kindergartener has already undergone three scans and has been in the intensive care unit of the hospital for several days. He was moved to a regular room Tuesday.
“I guess the scariest moment for me was getting to the ER and hearing the words ‘skull fracture’ and ‘bleeding,’” said James’ father, Eddie David.
So far, James has not had to undergo any surgeries.
His mom said he can’t walk without getting nauseous. Doctors are reportedly waiting for him to keep down food before he can be released from the hospital.
“We’re definitely gracious that that’s the extent of what his injuries were, because we know they could’ve been much worse,” Eddie David said.
Charlotte Knights general manager Scotty Brown said extra netting went up along the first and third base lines this season at BB&T Ballpark.
Brown said James and his family were sitting past the protective netting. He said team officials are available to the family for a helping hand.
“We certainly wish the best to the family ... and the recovery,” Brown said. “And we’re here to help in any way we can.”
Eddie David said he hopes other parents are cautious when taking their children to games. He said he would also like to see stadiums offer as much protection as possible for their crowds.
“Hopefully, people get to hear this story before they bring their kids to a game, and if it helps another child not get as injured as ours did, that’s all we can kind of hope for,” Eddie David said.
WBTV is a news partner of The Charlotte Observer.