Doctor of Oldham County High School student involved in freak ac - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Doctor of Oldham County High School student involved in freak accident says teen will have a lifelong recovery

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- "Oh my gosh."

Those were Tristan Ballinger's first words after he came out of a coma according to his father Mike Ballinger. The Oldham County High School student was seriously injured after a freak accident over a month ago.

Tristan Ballinger came out of his coma last week and now spends every day in the Emerge Program at Frazier Rehab getting stronger.

On Nov. 16, he was playing in his back yard with friends and became the victim of a freak accident.

“It was totally unexpected, but it happened, and it happened to my son,” Mike Ballinger said.

A piece of metal became lodged in the teen's forehead.

“It was really tough. When you have a child hurt like that, it's a parent's worst nightmare. There's just nothing that I can say to describe it. It's just your worst nightmare,” Mike Ballinger said.

Doctors say the accident caused a severe brain injury. But just a couple days before his 16th birthday came some good news. He emerged from his coma.

Mike Ballinger says Tristan doesn't remember what happened to him. While he used to spend his days playing baseball and wrestling, now his time is filled with physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“He's a trooper. He works really hard," Mike Ballinger said. "He's had a really good attitude about working in therapy and with his therapists, and his spirits are up."

“And showing us a little bit more of his true Tristan personality, which is a doer, a goer,” said Dr. Catherine Schuster, Tristan’s doctor.

Mike Ballinger says it's been a difficult month and a half, but he's blown away by the support.

“We didn't know that there was that much love out there to give.”

He's asking for more prayers during Tristan's long road to recovery.

“I mean for Tristan, it will be lifelong,” Dr. Schuster said. “There will be continued outpatient therapies.”

“Just continue with the prayer and support,” Mike Ballinger said. “That's really all we need.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help support the family. You can also stay up to date on Tristan’s recovery through his Caring Bridge site.

Related Stories:

Oldham County High School student seriously injured in 'freak accident' at home

Oldham County community rallies around teenager recovering from freak accident

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