By Seth Daniel
A 9-year-old boy remains in the hospital after what appears to be a freak accident while playing baseball with his mother’s boyfriend on McKeon Field in Ryan Playground Sunday afternoon.
The most recent press accounts indicated the boy, identified as Eddy Quinn, who does not live in Charlestown, was in a medically induced coma and was stable. He had been in critical condition since being rushed to the hospital by ambulance Sunday afternoon.
Boston EMS said they transported the young man from the baseball field in the afternoon after he was successfully revived.
EMS reported that the young man had been struck in the chest with a baseball and suffered cardiac arrest. Bystanders performed CPR, and EMS and Boston Fire arrived quickly. They boy was defibrillated twice and regained pulses. He was intubated at the scene and he was showing signs that his mental status had improved.
The account from EMS described the severity of the situation, where the boy was not breathing and had no pulse after suffering a heart attack. Reports indicate that the likelihood of a baseball causing such a heart attack is few and far between. The ball has to hit one just at the moment between heart beats to cause such a reaction.
Nevertheless, the stakes were raised and the story became much more of an item for the Boston press when the Boston Police Homicide Division responded to the field – something that’s not exactly routine in such medical emergencies.
The Boston Police did not respond for comment on that investigation.
The mother is said to live in Charlestown, and the boy lives elsewhere with his father. At the time he was pitching to his mother’s boyfriend.
Al Carrier, of Charlestown Little League, confirmed that there was no organized activity going on at the time.
He also said the young man isn’t enrolled in the Charlestown Little League program.
League President Cathy Reese issued a statement this week, as many are concerned about the incident on the eve of the kickoff of the Charlestown Little League season this Saturday, April 29.
“We are all devastated by yesterday’s accident and can’t help but think, “What if it were my son?,’” she wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, and we look forward to a safe and enjoyable season of baseball. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about playing ball this year. After yesterday’s tragic accident at the Ryan Field, in which a 9 year old boy was struck in the chest with a batted ball during a pick-up game of baseball, some of you may have questions or concerns about your child’s risk and safety as we enter our season. Please know that we at Charlestown Little League take safety very seriously and have measures in place to help protect our players, many of which are our own children too.”
Some of the protections include:
Batting helmets, restricted flight balls, and Little League approved bats are standard measures.
One thing many have asked about, she wrote, is the Heart-Gard shirts that can prevent such an injury. They are not required by Little League, but recommended. The shirts are available at most sporting good stores and cost between $40 and $60.
She said the injury is rare and only happens about four times a year nationwide.
“The ball needs to be traveling at the right velocity, hit the right spot on the chest at the right moment in time in between heart beats,” she wrote.