Tyler Hoog’s smile and sense of humor haven’t changed a bit.
On Aug. 28, the Skyline junior baseball player was in a Jeep accident that broke three vertebrae and has left him currently paralyzed from the shoulders down.
As he recovers and as the Skyline community has rushed to his support, however, Hoog is, in many ways, his old self.
Hoog’s father, Michael, who is the Falcons’ head baseball coach, has been keeping friends and family informed of Tyler’s recovery with frequent updates online. On Wednesday night, he wrote about Tyler cracking jokes and smiling the way he always has.
“Tyler’s body is changed … for now, but he is, amazingly, unchanged,” Michael wrote. “If there is a stronger, more secure, more peaceful kid than Ty, I’d love to meet him … or her.”
The Hoog family has received an overwhelming amount of support from family, friends and well beyond. Many people have told Michael and his wife, Kim, to stay strong.
“I think I am,” Michael wrote, “but I realized today, Ty possesses a strength of character and heart that far surpasses mine.
“It’s a great comfort to know …. not think, but know … that Tyler will be just fine, whether he is running the bases (slowly, as always) come this spring or whether he is touching people’s hearts from a wheel chair … he will be just fine.”
Tyler has had several visitors and has enjoyed their company, Michael said. He has also been asking for music, books on tape and wants to be read to. He also asked his dad for a book of inspirational quotes.
“It was great to hear him ask for that, as I take it as just another sign that he (is) preparing himself for what’s ahead in rehab,” Michael wrote earlier in the week.
Tyler also is fighting other physical matters, such as pneumonia and a virus in his stomach. Michael said that the family is dealing with a lot of things, but that “it’s all manageable.”
Tyler still doesn’t have any movement or sensation below his shoulders, but Michael said, for now, that is not as much of a concern as the other medical issues.
“Right now, the goal is to get all of these nits and gnats dealt with so we can get him stable enough to move to a rehab facility,” he wrote.
While the family is well aware of the battles ahead, Wednesday appeared to be one of the best days they have had since the Aug. 28 accident.
“I have always loved my son, I’ve always been proud of him, today, I am in awe,” Michael wrote.
To keep up on Tyler’s condition, or to donate to the “Hope 4 Hoogie Fund,” visit bit.ly/hopeforhoogie. Michael wrote that Tyler would love to have people post photos of themselves with Tyler on that web site.
Brian Howell can be reached at email@example.com.