There was no time to react. Matt turned his back to the ball to shield his head, but was struck just behind the ear and suffered a severe concussion.
The baseball fractured his skull and that break extended through facial nerves and inner ear bones, which could have caused paralysis to the right side of his face. The impact ruptured his right eardrum but fortunately did not rupture the carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain.
“He is so lucky. If that ruptured his carotid artery, he may not be with us,” said USF team orthopedist and San Francisco Giants doctor, Dr. Ken Akizuki. Hiserman spent four days in intensive care where he was monitored for bleeding in the brain in case he needed to be moved into emergency brain surgery.
All things considered, Matt Hiserman was very fortunate. If that baseball had struck him in the temple the outcome would have been much different. Impact studies show that a 35mph fastball to the temple is enough to kill a person, which is a frightening reality.
In Hiserman’s case, Ball Cap Liner could have lessened the severity of the injury.
Ball Cap Liner is designed with a thin metal replacement shield and offers temple guards for complete protection of the most vulnerable areas of the head. It is both effective for direct and glancing blows and would have been useful in this impact scenario.
Unfortunately, baseball players and coaches are not fully aware of the life-threatening severity of these injuries before it is too late. In 2005, for instance, as a junior in High School, Hiserman was hit in the right cheek by a line-drive ball and broke his sinus bones. Even in the wake of this injury, he was not encouraged to use protective headgear.
The long-term trauma resulting from these injuries does not go away upon recovery. They stick with our players. Hiserman said he suffered flashbacks upon returning to the game. “He briefly stepped off the mound and went down into a crouch to say a prayer,” reported one bystander.
Hiserman accepts he will always fear being hit by a baseball again. “Every time I go out there that thought will be with me,” he said.
Ball Cap Liner is working to change that — to educate players, coaches, and parents about the severity and frequency of these injuries and how easily they can be prevented (or at the very least, lessened). We want to provide athletes of all calibers the means to play to the best of their ability without fear of serious injury while providing the parents of those athletes, peace of mind.
Read the full article here.