A three-week-old baby girl had to be rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, including a skull fracture, after being hit by a foul ball during a minor league game.
Little Georgia Prestwood went with her parents, Hunt and Courtney, and her two siblings, aged six and three, to a Hickory Crawdads game in North Carolina on Friday.
Her father did his best to shield the newborn from the errant foul ball, but she was hit and went silent. It wasn’t until a minute later that her family saw signs of life.
‘That 45 seconds felt like it took 10 years off my life honestly,’ Courtney told WBTV. ‘It was like a sigh of relief just to hear her cry.’
Georgia was airlifted to a children’s hospital, where she was kept for three days as her family prayed for her recovery. She is now back home as her parents are recounting the horrifying ordeal.
‘What are the chances that it comes down to something that small?’ Hunt said.
The sports-loving couple grew up playing baseball, and Courtney coaches softball at a nearby high school.
They were keen to take Georgia to her first baseball game along with her six-year-old brother and three-year-old sister for a day of ‘pretty easy family fun’ on Friday.
But their family outing turned into a nightmare after a foul ball hurtled toward them and struck their baby in the head.
‘You think that baseball game was pretty easy family fun, you know, relatively safe for the most part. You don’t never expect something like that to happen,’ Hunt told WBTV.
‘We’re a pretty active family. We’re just constantly on the go. Just the average family, I guess,’ he added.
‘We’re always at some kind of ball field. Just happened we wanted to watch the professional this time.’
Hunt said that around the third or fourth inning, they heard cries of ‘foul ball.’ Courtney scrambled to cover the two young children, while Hunt wrapped himself around his baby daughter in an attempt to shield her.
‘I kind of hunched over her and I guess the ball had ended up coming down basically between my ear and my shoulder and striking her on the head,’ he told WBTV.
Georgia did not cry at first and was silent for almost a minute as her parents frantically checked her vital signs.
Soon after, Georgia was taken to the Frye Regional Medical Center for a CT scan, which showed she had suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed.
She was then taken by helicopter to Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Hunt said Georgia was dressed in a onesie and wrapped in a blanket, and she was placed in a full-body brace with IVs in both arms at the children’s hospital.
‘It’s pretty scary and you got all these nurses working on top of her,’ he said. ‘And we still don’t really know what’s going on.’
Georgia stayed in the hospital for three nights while doctors monitored her brain swelling, until she was cleared to go home on Monday.
In the days that followed, her distraught parents reflected on the accident.
Hunt told WBTV the ball hitting his baby’s head was a ‘one-in-a-million shot.’ Courtney said she felt close to losing her baby in ‘the blink of an eye’, and that it was Georgia’s first baseball game.
‘The past couple of days have been an emotional roller coaster!’ she said on Facebook.
Relatives launched a GoFundMe to help the couple cover Georgia’s medical expenses.
The Hickory Crawdads’ Organization told WBTV they do everything they can to provide a safe family experience at games.
‘We always strive to provide a fun, safe, and family-friendly experience for our fans,’ they said in a statement.
‘We have been in touch with Georgia’s family to extend our personal wishes for a smooth and speedy recovery.
‘We are grateful to our staff and the local emergency medical personnel on site, and how our community has rallied around the family.’
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