Last week, one of our students, Hudson Thomas, was struck in the head with a baseball and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Fortunately, he is doing well and on the road to a full recovery. Hudson's dad, Ryan Thomas, wrote a letter outlining their experience which I think could be instructive for all of us to read. As a parent or a grandparent, I am not sure I would have responded with as much intentionality as was necessary in this case. The letter follows and the Thomas' are also leading an effort to raise funds for the Neuro Trauma Unit at Children's Medical Center.
From Ryan Thomas:
Mr. Moore & Lovejoy ISD Community --
The Lovejoy ISD community has just been absolutely incredible this past week. Words cannot describe the outpouring of support that we have received from parents, students, and staff. Our family is very, very grateful to be part of such a special community.
The response to our story has been overwhelming and we feel that this is an opportunity to do something even greater; perhaps even save another child's life someday. To that end, we have started a GoFundMe page to help us 1) to create and conduct awareness campaigns about Traumatic Brain Injuries in youth baseball, softball and other sports, and 2) to donate funds to the amazing Neurosurgical Trauma Unit at Children's Medical Center Dallas. They saved our son's life. Sharing our story to prevent the wrong outcome for others is our first priority, but we will also be deeply grateful for any and all contributions to our efforts:
Letter to the baseball/softball community:
Coaches, Managers, and Parents,
As some of you may have heard, my son Hudson Thomas was struck in the head with a baseball and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) earlier this week during his team's normal baseball practice.
He was rushed to the pediatric trauma unit at Children's Hospital in Dallas where they performed an emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and relieve the pressure on his brain. The surgery was successful, and last night they let us take our baby boy home. Words cannot describe how grateful we are that Hudson is going to be OK. I Praise the Lord for saving our child.
I have known and or competed against many of you for years so I felt compelled to share the story. I just want everyone to be more aware so if you ever see anything like this happen, you can better protect all of our precious young athletes. Here is our story:
As crazy as this sounds, Hudson literally hadn't even started practicing yet. Most of our team was in their pre-practice routine, getting loose, throwing with a partner progressing toward long-toss. My son walked over to his bag to get his glove out and when he leaned over, an errant ball struck him squarely in the right side of his head, just above and behind the ear. He immediately dropped, mostly limp, and was obviously in a lot of pain, but he was still conscious. After a minute, we checked his eyes and asked him a few questions to see if there were any immediate signs of concussion; just like you would do if you suspected a concussion with a football player. His eyes were good and he was lucid, answering all of our questions correctly (more on this later). He was just in A LOT of pain so I walked him off the field and sat him down with an ice pack. After a few minutes it became obvious that his pain was severe and he was not going to return to the practice field that night. When I asked him what it felt like, he said that it felt dull and sharp at the same time, and throbbing. Of course it was... he just got hit with a baseball!!
At this point, I had no idea what the next several hours would hold... At first I was thinking I would keep a close eye on him to watch for signs of concussion and then perhaps take him to the doctor if he developed any nausea, or other tell-tale symptoms... but then, out of an abundance of caution, I decided to just go ahead and take him into the local urgent care clinic as a precaution.
Urgent Care Clinic
We walked into the urgent care and they quickly took him back. Again, he was responsive and his eyes looked good, but I told the doctors that the level of pain he was in was quite unusual. Any of you that know Hudson, know that he is a pretty tough kid, and for him to be in that much pain was very concerning to me so I let the doctors know. Again, out of an abundance of caution, the doctors suggested that we could do a CT scan. It was right about this time that Hudson first vomited. Now I'm thinking, yep, he definitely has a concussion, so I gave consent to do the CT scan.
After the doctor looked at the scan results, he quickly pulled me out of the room to show me and I snapped photos of the images with my cell phone. (More on this later). This is where the whirlwind began... he told me that Hudson had suffered a traumatic head injury and there was significant bleeding inside of his skull, pressing on his brain, and that they had already called an ambulance to come get him. Of course my heart dropped and I couldn't believe what he was telling me. Hudson was wide awake, his pain started to subside, and he was lucid. Only sign of concussion at this point was the vomiting. While we waited for the ambulance, I called a buddy of mine who is a head and spine surgeon and texted him those CT photos. Within a few minutes he called me back and told me that it was indeed an emergency situation and that Hudson needed to be transported to the nearest trauma unit ASAP for brain surgery! What, are you kidding me? A few minutes ago I had considered taking him home with his ice pack and "keeping a close eye on him". So grateful I did not do that.
Children's Hospital Dallas
The ambulance showed up and rushed Hudson to downtown Dallas. We asked why we weren't going to Children's hospital in Plano and they said 'he needed to go to a pediatric neuro trauma unit'. Not something any parent ever wants to hear. In fact, they said the only reason they didn't send CareFlight is that an ambulance was faster at that time of the evening with no traffic.
As we got into the ER, the team of neurosurgeons was waiting for us. They put the disc of the CT scan into their computer, but immediately realized the disk didn't read. *insert expletive here*. That's when I grabbed the doctor and told him I had the pictures of it on my iPhone. Thank God. He took one look at the pictures and explain to me that the blunt force of the baseball striking his skull ruptured blood vessel(s) and was pumping blood into his head and putting pressure on his brain (I'll explain this better in a minute). They immediately rushed him into another CT scan which was needed for the surgery. Then, they rushed him directly into the OR.
The world just stopped while we waited. We just prayed for the Lords grace. Psalm 40:11-13
The surgery was successful, and over the next several days, Hudson showed great progress in his recovery. I could write a whole other story about that, but I'll save that for another day. Hudson definitely won't see the baseball diamond for quite some time, but he is still here and, God-willing, on the road to a full recovery. He's home now and doing really well.
Hudson's Diagnosis - Epidural Hematoma
Now, I am not a doctor, nor am I giving anyone any medical advice here. I just want to explain through my own very limited understanding, what happened so that folks are more aware and will be more cautious should they ever witness a similar incident.
Hudson had a TBI know as an Epidural Hematoma. Basically it's where an artery/vein rupture's in the area between the skull and the Dura which is a leathery membrane that encapsulates the brain. The bleeding is usually from an artery which is under pressure so it just keeps pumping more blood into that space. In-turn, this literally squeezes the brain matter into whatever space it can find elsewhere in the head. If the bleeding is not stopped, the brain material can eventually restrict blood flow in the brain and push down into the base of the neck, cutting off involuntary functions such as breathing, etc. Death can follow.
My main point here is that,
just like these parents
, you would probably not even realize this bleed is happening... after all, if Hudson had not vomited, he wouldn't have shown any signs of a concussion. His eyes/pupils were fine, he was talking and answering all of our questions correctly, he was lucid, he had his balance, etc. Meanwhile, the pressure inside his cranium was building and may not have manifested itself until it was potentially too late. Scary. Had I just taken him home to keep an eye on him, I would have unknowingly wasted critical time and I might've been writing you a different story today. Again, praise the Lord that is not the case.
It may seem obvious, but a baseball to the head (at any speed) and a typical concussion can be very different injuries. Moreover, remember this was not even a batted ball, not a line drive... just a hard throw that hit him squarely on the head. I would urge all of you to educate yourselves about this and exercise an abundance of caution should you ever see something like this occur. I never imagined something like this was even possible, but it does happen. Be careful with those boys and keep them safe.
Best of luck to each of you this season and we hope to compete with you again soon.
NTX Eagles 12U - Quinton
Lovejoy ISD Pre-Kindergarten
As a new initiative, we will begin a Pre-Kindergarten program with tuition for the 2017-2018 school year. If you have a child who will be 4 years of age by September 1, 2017, you can choose to register him/her in our tuition-based program.
Following are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Pre-K program:
Where will the Pre-Kindergarten be located and what will the hours of operation be?
The Pre-Kindergarten program will be located at Puster Elementary School. Children may be dropped off at 7:30 AM and the school day will run from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
Will after school care be available for our Pre-K kids?
Yes, the district will offer a Pre-K after school program similar to Kids First. The after school program will run from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM. There will be no additional cost for this after school care, as it will be included in the tuition costs.
What is the cost of the Lovejoy Pre-K program?
The tuition will be $5,000 per semester, plus a $250 fee for registration/materials per semester.
How many days per week will the program be?
The Pre-Kindergarten program will be a 5-day per week program.
What is the plan for lunch?
Pre-K students can either bring their lunch or the district will set up an account with the cafeteria and parents may purchase a school lunch for them.
Will the Pre-K students be provided a snack?
Yes, the Pre-K students will receive a morning and an afternoon snack.
Will the teachers be credentialed?
Lovejoy ISD Pre-K teachers will be early childhood education certified or degreed in that area.
What will the student-to-teacher ratio be?
The student-to-teacher ratio will be commensurate with student-to-teacher ratios in private Pre-Kindergarten programs.
What curriculum will be implemented in the Pre-K program?
The district will follow the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards appropriate for its 4-year old Pre-K program and will prepare students for Kindergarten.
If my child(ren) will be 5 years of age by September 1, 2017, and I prefer to wait a year before he/she is enrolled in Kindergarten, are they eligible to attend this tuition-based program?
Yes, the Lovejoy program will operate in the same manner as many private programs. The parent has the option to enroll their student(s) in the Pre-K program, giving the child(ren) another year of maturity and learning before they begin the Kindergarten year.
When will registration begin for this program?
Registration will begin on February 15, 2017.
Will the district offer a 3-day program in addition to the 5-day program?
The priority will be focused on the 5-day program. If available seats fill with students enrolled in the 5-day program, there will be no 3-day option for the 2017-2018 school year.
Over the next weeks, our staff will be diligently working to finalize plans for the opening of this program. Detailed information will continue to be shared in Email Express.
to complete a form if you are interested in enrolling a student in this program, have any questions, or have comments. As always, please feel free to contact me in
, or call or text me at 972.415.8129.
SCIS Geography Bee Winners
Congratulations to the SCIS Geography Bee Winners:
1st place Luke Shull
2nd place Julia McPherson
3rd place Katherine Smith
Lovejoy Color Guard
Lovejoy experienced a great weekend for Color Guard at their first competition.
The WSMS Guard placed second at the Sachse Competition on Friday. The LHS Guard placed 4th in their round, and ended up in 4th overall out of 18 teams at the Lamar Competition on Saturday.
The next LHS Show is Saturday, February 4th, at Flower Mound High School. The next WSMS Show is Friday, February 24th, at Frisco Centennial High School.
Athletic Signing Day
Congratulations to Haley Deschenes and Cal Cranfill as they sign collegiate athletic letters of intent today. Look for photos of this event on the district's website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Haley Deschenes, Volleyball - Central Oklahoma
Cal Cranfill, Soccer - Trinity University
The Lovejoy tennis team captured the Team Championship at the Frisco Lone Star Tournament for the 3rd year in a row. The mixed doubles team and boys doubles team have won the first two tournaments of the Spring tennis season.
A - Mixed Doubles - Jack Bennett/Samantha Hayward - Champions
B - Boys Doubles - Caiden Tays/Carson Zimmermann - Champions
A - Boys Doubles - Chris Sun/Brandon Su - 2nd place
B - Boys Singles - Dylan Smith - 2nd place
B - Girls Singles - Sydney Wong - 2nd place
A - Girls Doubles - Caroline Burkhart/Abby Sibson - 3rd place
A - Girls Singles - Daniela Benigno - 3rd place
B - Girls Doubles - Alex Droge/Polly Roth - 3rd place
Mixed Doubles Champions: Jack Bennett and Samantha Hayward
Boys Doubles Champions: Caiden Tays and Carson Zimmermann