CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A community is rallying around a Chula Vista teen and baseball player after a freak injury left him unable to move during a game.
“The mood was somber. We were worried,” Castle Park High varsity baseball coach Miguel Lopez.
The scary scene played out eight days ago, about halfway into the school’s final baseball game of the season at Southwest High.
17-year-old shortstop Antonio Macias was on the field, and not moving.
Moments earlier, Antonio, who was on second base, tried to reach third base after the pitch got away from the catcher.
“I remember wanting to get a safe base. After I touch the base, I feel pain in my head,” said Antonio in an interview over Zoom.
Lopez says the throw to third base was off. The third baseman had to stretch, as Antonio was diving headfirst into the base, leading to a collision.
Antonio's head crashed into the other player's ribcage. In the ballpark, there was silence. A trainer rushed to help.
“I was afraid. I thought it was going to die. I think about God,” said Antonio.
After a tense 20 minutes, he was placed in an ambulance. At the hospital, tests showed he had a spinal fracture in his neck and a skull fracture.
Remarkably, although the road to recovery will be long, doctors are optimistic about a full recovery.
Lopez says with the family is in a tough spot financially.
“It’s my understanding his insurance has lapsed. He doesn’t have it,” said Lopez. “We trying to ease the stress of their financial burden.”
A Gofundme campaign was recently set up to help the family with expenses.
“It makes me feel happy, people rooting for me,” said Lopez.
Antonio, a senior, will remain in a brace for at least two months.
He tells ABC 10News he plans to play baseball again when he attends college.