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Traumatic injury leads to 500 stitches but doesn't deter boy from pursuing baseball

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Posted at 1:35 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 13:35:21-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A 12-year-old boy remains resilient after he collided with a fence and split open his head during an out-of-state baseball game.

Christopher Valerio and his family flew out to Kansas City early on April 23 for the first game of the season set for that evening. Christopher Valerio covered left field for his team, the Salty Dawgs Baseball Club of Colorado.

When the batter of the opposing team hit the baseball, Valerio ran after it and collided with a fence. He tried to throw the ball back to his teammates and then collapsed.

In the video, a coach screams for an ambulance. Christopher Valerio’s father, Josh Valerio ran to his son’s side.

“He was losing a lot of blood. He was turning very pale, and his pulse was really fading, and I knew I was going to have to treat him for shock,” said Josh Valerio, who's a firefighter.

The crash into the fence split Christopher Valerio’s head open from the top of his right eyebrow to the top of his right ear. He was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery and received 500 stitches.

“They called a very good plastic surgeon, I want to thank him,” Christopher Valerio said. “He did his best to try to fix me up and do everything that he could.”

Josh Valerio said since the incident, his son has shown immense strength and resilience. He said his son has remained positive throughout the recovery.

“He is tough. He keeps us tough,” said Afton Valerio, Christopher Valerio’s mom.

Christopher Valerio is known as "Lefty" on the team, but since his injury, he’s gained a new nickname.

“Wolverine because everyone was astonished by how fast I was healing from my wound,” Christopher Valerio said.

In five days, the baseball community, family, friends and strangers helped raised more than $8,000 of the $10,000 goal on GoFundMe to help cover medical expenses for Christopher Valerio’s recovery.

"We appreciate it so very much," Christopher Valerio said.

"It’s awesome. It’s humbling, you know, to see everybody cares," Josh Valerio said.

Christopher Valerio has more doctor's appointments ahead as he continues to recover. He isn’t sure when he will return to play on the field, but plans to keep cheering on his team until he’s ready to make a comeback.

This story was originally published by Adi Guajardo at KMGH.