Austin Hatch update - July 17th

Submitted by Erik_in_Dayton on July 17th, 2011 at 5:05 PM

The journal entry below as posted by the Hatch family on the CaringBridge website earlier today.  It seems like his improvement has been significant. 



written by Hatch Family

Austin James is handsome as always, and still looks like a fit teenage athlete.  Austin's treatment program is going very well, including Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapies.  (He also enjoys a lot of extra massages and PT exercises with help from the family!)
The Community's support has been phenomenal.  For people who have requested information about wrist bands, you may go to the following website:
Austin's favorite bible verse:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."




July 17th, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

Unfortunate to hear about speech therapy, but all things considered it seems to be a positive update.  I still have no doubt he will be on the floor of Crisler Arena in 2.5 years in one way or another.


July 18th, 2011 at 1:38 AM ^

That was not what my question was directed towards. It was directed towards compliance, as in as am I, as a Michigan alum, allowed to buy something related to a recruit in order to help his family out with this difficult situation or is it against NCAA rules right now. The last I heard, it was not allowed. I was wondering if things changed.

Blue in Yarmouth

July 18th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

but let's be honest for a minute. Does anyone really see the NCAA launching an investigation on a school who had some alumni donate money to a charity that would help a kid who had been in a plane crash and lost his family? Just the fact that one has to worry about this absurd (I'm not saying you are absurd, but the fact that you have to worry because of how incompetent the NCAA is is absurd).

In all honesty. I can't imagine the NCAA making a big deal about this given the circumstances, but it is the NCAA so one can never be too sure. I would think they would be pretty hesitant with the negative publicity it would draw for doing such a thiing though (they creat enough of that on a daily basis). 


July 18th, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

I sent an e-mail to U-M's Compliance Dept. about this and received a response saying it is "impermissible" for me to send a donation via this wristband effort. They are working on "an alternative solution that would be within the rules for people that wish to help."

Look Up_See Blue

July 17th, 2011 at 7:26 PM ^

I know that you hear of stories that sometimes seem surreal but this is pretty remarkable. Even if this young man doesn't play basketball ever again (which I highly doubt) to survive not one but two plane crashes is crazy. I can just see the storyline in 2-3 years if this kid leads Michigan Hoops to a Final Four.


July 17th, 2011 at 7:44 PM ^

The best hope we can have for Austin Hatch is that he sometime leads the Wolverines to an NCAA Championship: as the team doctor.  When you are having to learn to walk and talk all over again, it's an indication of severe trauma and residual damage.  If he makes what looks like a full recovery, it will still be too risky for him to ever play a sport in which he could sustain another head injury.  

He's not "Austin Hatch, the basketball player" anymore; he's "Austin Hatch, the human being."    With the support and love he is getting, there is plenty of time for him to be a very successful human being. 


July 17th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

I have to disagree.  Without knowing the extent of his injuries there's no way to know the celing of his recovery.  I would argue to hold out hope that he accomplishes his dreams of playing basketball for Michigan, despite the actual chances of that happening.  The kid is clearly resilent, let him fight his battle and see what happens.

Blue in Yarmouth

July 18th, 2011 at 7:51 AM ^

so Neurology isn't my field exactly, but it is a little premature to say he won't ever play basketball again. I would agree that it isn't a sure thing, but a kid his age who is obviously physically fit and well conditioned could do t if anyone could. 

Also, it isn't like he is playing football or hockey where concussions are frequent. Basketball is a sport where concussion aren't all that common so fear of further injury due to the sport he plays would be relatively low. 

I am going to hold out hope that he will make a full recovery that includes playing basketball (for his sake, not mine).


July 17th, 2011 at 8:06 PM ^

I do not know the extent to Austin's injuries. Speech therapy, surprisingly, is not always about speach. I work at a trauma center, and see amazing recoveries. I don't know what capacities Austin will gain or not, but you would be amazed at how a you g healthy body can heal.


July 17th, 2011 at 9:11 PM ^

I've seen kids get "speech therapy" just because they had trouble after being intubated.  Without knowing the extent of his injuries though it's tough to say.  I wish him a speedy recovery, tough road ahead but from what I can tell he's a hell of a fighter.


July 17th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

As I last understood they were slowly bringing him out of a medically induced coma.  I have no idea how long of a process that is but it seems that he may now be on the road to recover all he can from a severe head injury.  His age and fitness will give him every advantage and I continue to pray for him.

Wolverine in 312

July 17th, 2011 at 9:32 PM ^

And this does not violate HIPPA, but Sources close to him say he will probably not be able to play ball again, brain problems considered. Crazier things happen, though. Pray for the kid.


July 17th, 2011 at 11:10 PM ^

had a good buddy flip his car resulting in severe brain injury. was in a medical coma for 10 days or so, had to drain the pressure off his skull.  he is back to about 95% of what he was roughly 1 yr out from the accident.  he had to do all the therapy and more from what is described.  truly nobody thought he would ever come back if you saw him after the accident.  that said, he wasnt an elite athlete, so not sure what the long term holds for Austin.  one thing the doc's always said, everyone is unique and responds differently


July 18th, 2011 at 3:24 AM ^

This is not the time to bicker among ourselves about what are really just details. Let's all pull together now and send all of our love and best prayers to Austin and the whole family. And certainly, I want to chip in and agree that I have always hoped for him to be the next Dr. Hatch. 

And I do love the idea that if he can't play the game, he could lead us on to the court, the way Brock Mealer did. I really can't think of too many better things.

Austin, I hope you know that all of your Michigan family really want you to join us as a student - basketball or not. You were our guy then, and you're our guy now. Get back on your feet and start on that degree ! You don't know how much we are pulling for you . . . .


July 18th, 2011 at 11:53 AM ^

I pray that this kid just makes a recovery to live a normal life. If he does then I hope that Michigan will honor his scholarship regardless if he ever plays again. God works miracles!!


July 18th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^

From the previous updates, I wasn't quite sure they'd completely brought him out of the coma.  If he's involved with speech and physical therapy, he's obviously passed that landmark and more.   And, shallow as it seems, glad to hear he's still handsome, considering the reported fractured skull and cuts to his face, because looking in the mirror and seeing himself as he was can help his mood and further encourage him to work on recovering what isn't so easily seen.

All the best, Austin.  We're pulling for you.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

July 18th, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

I havent been on the board in a while, but when you go from "Responds to pain" to "Undergoing speech therapy" it is time to celebrate! Clearly you all dont understand how head injuries work. This is very very good--not better than I'd hoped, but certainly better than I expected. Go Austin!