UPDATE: 2-year-old girl struck in head by foul ball at Astros game suffered permanent brain injury
Seven months later, the little girl remains on anti-seizure medication and has also suffered other negative effects, her family's attorney said.
UPDATE: A 2-year-old girl whose skull was fractured by a foul ball at a Houston Astros game in May is suffering the effects of a permanent brain injury, according to her family's attorney.
Richard Mithoff told the Houston Chronicle that the toddler, whose name has not been disclosed, remains on anti-seizure medication after being hit by a line drive by Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora at Minute Maid Park.
"She has an injury to a part of the brain, and it is permanent,” Mithoff said. “She remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life. That may or may not be resolved.”
The child's parents also said she has frequent headaches, prolonged staring spells, unresponsiveness and night terrors after suffering effects to her central nervous system that her doctors likened to a stroke, according to Mithoff.
It's unclear if she has suffered any cognitive effects from the injury.
"She has wonderful parents and is receiving wonderful care,'' he said. "They obviously are concerned, but she is blessed with a family that is doing relatively well, considering everything."
Almora was distraught after realizing what happened, falling to one knee and shedding tears during the game.
"As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her," he said at the time, according to NBC's Chicago affiliate, WMAQ.
The girl, who was sitting in on a relative's lap in seats down the third-base line, suffered a skull fracture along with subdural bleeding, brain contusions and brain edema, the family said in a news release in June.
The family was seated one section over from the protective netting in place to stop foul balls. Major League Baseball announced last month that protective netting will be extended at the stadiums for all 30 teams starting this upcoming season.
PREVIOUS STORY: After the game, Almora said, “I want to put a net around the whole stadium,” Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Teammate Kris Bryant said to ESPN, “I don’t know what we can do. Let’s just put fences up around the whole field. It’s so sad when you see stuff like that happen.”
Jeff Passan clarified, asking, “You do think there should be fencing, netting all the way around to protect everyone?” Bryant responded, “Yeah, absolutely. You can see through these fences here. There’s a lot of kids coming to the games, young kids who want to watch us play. And the balls come in hard. The speed of the game is quick. Any safety measure we can take to make sure that the fans are safe, we should do it.”
PREVIOUS STORY: Cubs outfielder Albert Almora hit a line drive foul into the stands just beyond the netting at Minute Maid Park in the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Astros. The ball appeared to strike a small child, who had to be carried out of the stands to receive medical attention.
Almora was visibly shaken from the incident, taking time to get back into the batter’s box. In between innings, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Almora spoke with the security guard near the area of the stands where he hit the foul ball to get an update on the situation. Almora appeared to be visibly weeping.
The child is expected to be fine, thankfully, according to Sportstalk 790.
Once again, Major League Baseball needs to mandate that protective netting be extended the full length down each foul line. It is good that netting has been extended at all 30 parks, but as tonight’s incident shows, it is still not enough. It’s not fair to the fans, many of which are young children, and it’s not fair to the players who have to live with inadvertently injuring fans.