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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A 12-year-old Little League World Series player from Utah was in critical condition Tuesday with what his family said was a head injury suffered when he fell off the top bunk of his bed at the dormitory complex.
Easton Oliverson is a pitcher and outfielder for the Snow Canyon team out of Santa Clara, Utah. The Little League World Series is set to begin Wednesday in Williamsport. His dad, Jace Oliverson, is an assistant coach on the team.
"I've always been a firm believer of prayer and the power that comes with it, and I feel like if people continue to rally around us that he will make a full recovery," Oliverson told KSL-TV. "Right now it's slow. They keep telling me it's a cross-country race."
Oliverson gave an update on his son's condition through Facebook and said doctors told him his son had punctured an artery which caused bleeding on the brain and needed a piece of skull removed.
Oliverson and wife Nancy are with their son at the hospital.
The boy's uncle has served as family spokesperson and told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Easton fell off the bed while he was sleeping and hit his head.
"We're just at a point now where he's just in recovery," Spencer Beck said in a phone interview. "The teammates heard him fall, thank goodness. When they got into surgery, the doctor talked to Jace and said had he not gotten into surgery but 30 minutes later, he would have been dead."
Beck said Easton is still using a breathing tube.
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 Santa Clara team was the first from Utah to make the Little League World Series. Snow Canyon is scheduled to play its first game Friday against the winner of teams from Massachusetts and Tennessee.
"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."
The family has set up a Venmo account, @MiraclesForTank* for the kid nicknamed "Tank" to help with bills and expenses.
"We want to make sure when Easton wakes up, he's mentally there for us and can progress from there," Beck said.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the accounts will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.