Son of former Braves player leaves hospital after 7 surgeries, 21 days

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The son of former Atlanta Braves player Keith Lockhart has recovered enough to leave the hospital after getting hit by a baseball during a tournament in South Carolina last month.

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Jason Lockhart, 15, underwent seven procedures in 21 days.

Monday, one day after being released from the intensive care unit. Following Jason's surgery, his sister, Sydney, posted an update on her Facebook page:

"They were able to find a few areas that were acting up. His doctors felt that those areas combined were causing the recent bleeding instead of one specific location of bleeding. They cauterized and packed those areas. The doctors really want Jason to heal and clot on his own. We are praying these next few days he is able to heal properly and fully. Please continue to lift up Jason. He is tired of dealing with this stressful issue. We all are. We know that we are in fantastic hands here. We also know that our God is the ultimate Healer. We are calling to Him, asking for and trusting Him with Jason's full recovery."

Family members said Jason was hit in the face when a catcher threw a ball back to the pitcher as he crossed the plate on Saturday, June 17. He suffered a broken nose and required stitches at first. Then, two days later, Jason got X-rays when his nose began to bleed profusely, and doctors could not get the bleeding to stop.

Since then, Sydney has regularly posted updates about Jason on her Facebook page. 

Medics transported Jason to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite where a CT scan revealed a severe fracture causing him to continuously bleed. He had surgery on June 20 to repair the fracture, but the following day, doctors discovered the fracture in his nose had cut an artery. After a couple days of medication, sedation, and rest, Jason was still bleeding, so doctors put him on life support and sent him back into surgery.

According to a post by Sydney, Jason was placed into a paralytic state through medicine and machines to prevent movement that could cause more bleeding. Jason began to bleed again, and doctors gave him a blood clotting machine to try and help stop the bleeding. The doctors decided to do an endovascular embolization to determine where the bleeding was coming from. 

Last week, on June 29, Sydney said her brother was awake, but he was having a difficult time relaxing due to tremors. 

"When Jason came out of recovery a couple days ago, his body was transitioning from being paralyzed to functioning normally," Sydney said. "This transition was very difficult for him. His body was reacting with uncontrolled involuntary tremors and movements. It was heartbreaking and caused so much anxiety. We had no idea this was part of the process."

Last Sunday, Jason was able to work on his strength through walking and balancing exercises, according to his sister. He was also moved from the ICU to a regular room. 

Last Monday, ahead of his seventh procedure, Sydney said Jason coughed while eating breakfast, which caused his nose to start bleeding again.

"He is tired of dealing with this stressful issue," Sydney said. "We all are."

Keith Lockhart played in Atlanta for six seasons, from 1997 and 2002, primarily as a reserve infielder and pinch hitter.

MORE: Family of former Braves player asks for prayers after son’s baseball injury