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Injured Little Leaguer has increased face swelling limiting his vision, doctors say


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By Wayne Sterling and Zoe Sottile, CNN

The injured Little League player who fractured his skull after falling from his bunk bed on Monday continues to face challenges in his recovery, including swelling which may block his vision.

Doctors told the parents swelling in 12-year-old Easton “Tank” Oliverson’s face has increased, according to an Instagram account set up to provide updates on his recovery.

“The swelling in his face has gone up, and the doctors have told his parents that it will get worse,” the post reads. “This has limited Easton’s ability to see, creating a unique challenge for him. While we have seen a countless amount of miracles in Easton’s journey (and still are), he is still going to have hard moments like today.”

“Through it all, he still makes sure to tell everyone he talks to that he loves them. Instead of complaining, he chooses to express his love. That’s truly the kind of kid that Easton is, which is why we know he will come out of this with so much strength. Please keep praying for our buddy. We love you all!!”

The post also said Oliverson, dressed in his Mountain Region gear, was able to watch Friday’s game between his team and Tennessee’s Nolensville Little League from his hospital room.

“This was a very emotional afternoon for him,” the post stated.

Oliverson suffered a fractured skull after falling from a bunk bed at the players’ dormitory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, early Monday morning. His team, Utah’s Snow Canyon Little League, earned a trip to Williamsport after winning a regional championship in California.

The young athlete was airlifted to a children’s hospital in critical condition. His father told CNN he was “fighting for his life,” with doctors saying he was just 30 minutes from death. He underwent surgery and was placed in a medically induced coma.

In the days since, Oliverson has made impressive strides toward recovery, as documented on the “miraclesfortank” Instagram account. By Wednesday, he was no longer sedated, and on Thursday, he moved out of an intensive care unit and was able to feed himself.

A separate Instagram post on Saturday afternoon said doctors have been in contact with Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City to set up “travel plans” and hope to have Oliverson back in Utah by Tuesday of next week.

Along with the post, the family shared a video of Oliverson saying, “Hey, this is Easton. Thank you for the prayers.” He also added he is starting to feel better.

“We are so happy about this update, and can’t wait to have our boy a little closer to home,” the post said on Saturday afternoon.

The Little Leaguer has received an outpouring of support from around the nation. On Saturday, Kevin Cash, the manager of the Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, sent a heartfelt message to Oliverson.

“We’ve been keeping up with your progress and just want to let you know that you have fans that you have never met in Florida who are really rooting for you,” Cash said in an Instagram video posted to @miraclesfortank. “I remember how excited I was to have a chance to play in the Little League World Series. There’s something about baseball that brings people together. It’s like an extended family.”

“We’re here for each other to celebrate the wins and we encourage each other during challenging times. Tank, we are sending positive thoughts and well-wishes to you and the Snow Canyon Little League … Let’s do this for Tank.”

The post thanked the Rays for the message. “Thank you to the @raysbaseball for sending over this heartfelt message. The support means the world and more for Easton and his family!”

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CNN’s Jason Hanna, Jason Carroll, and Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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