WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — The family of a 12-year-old Little League World Series player from Utah who sustained a head injury after falling from the top bunk of his bed at the dormitory complex said Thursday that he has been moved from intensive care and is able to sit up, eat, and walk with support. Easton Oliverson, a pitcher and outfielder for the Snow Canyon team out of Santa Clara, Utah, suffered the injury Monday and was listed in critical condition Tuesday.
But according to a post on an Instagram account the family set up to share updates, he is now back in a standard hospital room and can communicate with his parents, Jace and Nancy, and other family members. A video attached to the post also showed Easton drinking and feeding himself.
“We are astonished by his strength and willingness to try new things,” the post said. “He has been communicating more frequently with his Mom, Dad, and uncles who have been at the hospital with him. His voice has been significantly more clear when he talks! He asked Nancy about his hair, and why he was there.”
The Santa Clara team, for which Jace Oliverson also serves as an assistant coach, was the first from Utah to make the Little League World Series. It is representing the Mountain Region and is scheduled to play its first game Friday against the Nolensville, Tennessee, team representing the Southeast Region.
Little League World Series officials also announced in a statement Thursday that Snow Canyon was filling Easton’s open roster spot with his brother, Brogan Oliverson. Little League said that the addition of an eligible player is common in certain situations, including medical absence. The move was approved by the tournament committee and Brogan will be eligible to play in Friday’s game.
The boy’s uncle, Spencer Beck, has served as family spokesperson and told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Easton fell off the bed while he was sleeping and hit his head. “The teammates heard him fall, thank goodness,” he said in a phone interview. “When they got into surgery, the doctor talked to Jace and said had he not gotten into surgery but 30 minutes later, he would have been dead.”
The family has set up a Venmo account for the kid nicknamed “Tank” to help with bills and expenses. “He is making great strides, and we as a family couldn’t be more grateful,” the Instagram statement said.