TLCA Baseball rallies around teammate after seizures, stroke

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SAN ANGELO, Texas — TLCA junior third baseman Ayden Dane’s life changed in a blink of an eye.

The 17-year-old went to bed one night in late March with stomach pains, and by the next morning, suffered two seizures and a pediatric stroke.

“A lot of it is a blur,” Ayden’s mom Shanna Dane said. “I just had to ask ‘Do we know what’s wrong yet?’ and they [doctors] said ‘It does appear your son has had a stroke.”

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, pediatric stroke is a rare condition that affects one in every 4,000 newborns and an additional 2,000 older children each year. Stroke is a type of blood vessel (cerebrovascular) disorder and can be categorized as ischemic (caused by insufficient blood flow) and hemorrhagic (caused by bleeding in the brain).

Shanna noticed Ayden’s condition the following morning and the family rushed him to Shannon Medical Center before flying out to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

“He recalls trying to yell out for me, but in his head, he was yelling my name but said nothing was coming out of his mouth,” Shanna said. “I woke him up to get ready for school and he was falling into the walls and couldn’t grip his hair comb or gel.”

John Hopkins Medicine cites that when a child experiences symptoms that may indicate a stroke, a rapid and thorough evaluation by a pediatrician or neurologist is essential to initiate treatment quickly and lower the risk of long-term problems.

Ayden underwent extensive testing, including CAT scans, MRIs, EKGs and x-rays, but doctors were unable to give an explanation for why the seizures and stroke occurred.

“They did pretty much every test imaginable [to try and find a blood clot or a problem with an artery],” Shanna said. “In Ayden’s case, they just simply weren’t able to conclude a reason for his stroke, which has been really unsettling for us as his family.”

“As the doctors explained, when we don’t know a reason, it’s hard for us to try and prevent this from happening in the future,” Shanna added.

Ayden suffered permanent brain damage and will visit a stroke clinic in Fort Worth every six months along with taking occupational, physical and speech therapy.

“He’ll never have his speech 100-percent prior to the stroke because of the area of his brain that was affected,” Shanna said. “But with a lot of hard work, he can get pretty close.”

The news made it back to school and his TLCA teammates.

“I kinda squatted down and just started tearing up,” TLCA junior utility Ian Moore said. ” I was wondering why it would happen to Ayden because he’s like one of those kids that don’t do anything wrong.”

Freshman infielder Seto Monsivias and Ayden built a close relationship while their sisters played on the same softball team.

“I was just devastated,” Monsivias said. “To see a friend, a junior at that, just 17 years old have a seizure and a stroke. It’s just sad.”

The Eagles rallied around their brother and created the #12Strong initiative to show support and raise money to help the Dane Family with medical bills and essential needs.

The team created shirts and in every game, they write the script on tape across the wrist.

“Everything we do right now is for Ayden,” Moore said. “Every game, every practice we have 12 somewhere on us. Being able to honor 12 Strong is like putting our brother upfront and letting him know we’re fighting for him.”

TLCA Head Coach Larry Maciel said this season is dedicated to Ayden.

“To show him no matter what we’re thinking about him, not just on the field, but off the field as well,” Maciel said. “Knowing that he’s fighting at home, we’re gonna fight on the field for him.”

Just 24 hours after the news broke, the Eagles picked up their first win of the season in District 6-3A, beating Brady 7-6 at the Texas Bank Sports Complex.

“It was emotional, to begin with, we broke out with 12 Strong,” Maciel said. “He [Ayden] was able to watch some of the game through Facebook Live and I was just proud of the way they played and the way they kept their heads in it.”

Ayden’s life may never be the same, but through all the tests, uncertainty, and challenges, he’s keeping a positive attitude and recovering each day.

“He’s getting better,” Shanna said. “He has a different perspective on life. He is just so grateful and thankful to be alive.”

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