Community rallies behind 15-year-old Lakota West student suffering from brain injury
WEST CHESTER, Ohio (WKRC) - After the annual lacrosse game pitting current Lakota West players something happened that has united a region of Ohio. 15-year-old Matt Stratman collapsed following the match, after saying he had a headache.
“At the time everyone thought it was heat stroke, get him in the shade and he’ll be fine,” said Danny Amsbaugh.
But moments later, one of the lacrosse coaches said Stratman stopped breathing.
“I just reacted and performed CPR on him, another parent gave him some breaths too, said Steven Burkhardt. “He stopped breathing again, I gave him CPR again and by then life squad was there to take over.”
Eventually the three sport athlete was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Avondale. Doctors have diagnosed the teen with an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) a tangle of blood vessels in his brain. Stratman is currently in a coma.
“It’s been tough, but I know there’s kids that are closer to him than I am so I can’t really imagine what it would be like for more, friends and family. I really believe he can pull it through and be good,” said Silas Walters, a football teammate of Stratman’s.
Since the weekend, numerous fundraising efforts have been launched. One a go fund me to help with medical expenses.
The goal was $10,000. In just over 24 hours the students have collected more than $13K.
“I know Matt can’t see what we are doing right now but we are just trying to keep the family comforted and show them how important he is to us,” said lacrosse teammate Matt Kauffung.
Lakota West Principal Elgin Card says he’s proud of his students in this moment.
"You always hear about this generation doesn't do things right. This proves people wrong. This generation can do a lot of great things on their own as well,” said Card.
This coming Saturday students will host a car wash benefit for the Stratman family at the high school from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.