The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 17, 2012

Man celebrates ‘Home Run’

INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center helps local student recover

EDMOND — Boston Tracy took a run around the bases Friday night at the Oklahoma City RedHawks game vs. the Fresno Grizzlies to symbolize just how far he has come since a near-fatal accident in February.

Boston, a sophomore at the University of Central Oklahoma, made the run as part of the RedHawks’ and INTEGRIS Health’s “Home Run for Life” series that recognizes people in the Oklahoma City community who, with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals, have overcome a significant medical event in their life.

Selected Home Run for Life participants get to take a home run “lap” around the bases between innings, symbolizing the end of a battle against adversity.

Boston said, “It is not nearly the end of my battle, but I think of this as a military operation. It is like when you are in a battle and reinforcements with good weapons come and help you and the battle turns your way. This is part of help on the way of my recovery road.”

Boston’s story begins one night in February when he and his friends were headed to a concert. As they were walking to the venue, a drunk driver barreled over a hill, unaware of pedestrians walking. In a split second, Boston pushed his friends out of the way, sacrificing himself to be hit by the car.

When medics reached the scene, the first responder called in he was bringing in a DOA, his mother Linda Tracy-Ryder said. His father is Richard Tracy.

The family has turned this tragedy into an opportunity. Boston and his mother speak to Victims’ Impact Panels as Boston is the only known living victim in the state to share his story with others.

“His story is so powerful because he was called in as a DOA,” Ryder said.

After Boston is introduced and tells a little about himself, his mother continues the story telling what happened and the impact on his journey back to life. “The journey back during the hospital stays, his coma, the sentencing trial for the girl who hit him, it is all very emotional for me,” his mother said.

“His journey isn’t over yet, but he will be going back to the University of Central Oklahoma Monday,” his mother said. “He realizes his limitations, accepts them and compensates for them.”

Of his actions before being hit, his mother said Boston has been playing soccer since he was 2-years-old.

“The way his arms were out when the car hit him was like he was defending a goal,” his mother said. “His face and his head took the complete impact. I am sure it was a complete reaction.”

While EMT’s worked to stabilize his friends, Boston was loaded into an ambulance and once he arrived at the hospital, doctors discovered Boston was indeed alive and they worked to stabilize him for three hours. The doctors discovered Boston suffered a traumatic brain injury and had 22 facial fractures. They feared Boston would be brain dead for the rest of his life.

Boston spent three weeks in a coma, but then miraculously woke up and started his road to recovery. He was then sent to the INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center, where he began to overcome his communicative, cognitive and physical impairments thanks to Dr. Shawn Smith and the entire medical team. During his rehab, therapists were always impressed with his hard work ethic, according to the rehabilitation center.

Although Boston doesn’t think of himself as a hero because his friends were still hurt, he said according to a police investigator, one of his friends would have been hit and one would have gone under the car, with both of them being killed.

Boston said he doesn’t remember anything that happened two weeks before the accident or for 2 1/2 months after the accident, but he said he believes his actions were because of his personal philosophy.

“My personal philosophy is to always do the right thing, even if it hurts,” Boston said. “That is what I hold myself to.”

While he continues to improve, Boston recently passed his driver’s test and is about to begin his sophomore year at UCO.

“As always I am excited but a bit nervous,” Boston said.

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