Alice Lloyd College softball player Caitlyn Case made the trip to Brescia University on April 3, 2010 to play a college softball game. It was an ordinary trip with a typical start that ended entirely different than it had in the past for Caitlyn.
Case was struck in the right eye by a foul ball. She was transported to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion and was given a few stitches. The following day her eye was bruised and completely swollen shut. Three days later, she awoke to find blood coming from her nose and no vision in her right eye. A trip to a Lexington specialist discovered she had a sheared optic nerve. She was informed that if her vision did not return within four weeks, it most likely never would. A follow-up visit on April 27th confirmed that her vision was lost and talk began of learning how to live and function with only one eye.
In just a few short weeks, the college softball player had gone from a thriving college student to one presented with a most difficult challenge. On May 14, Caitlyn traveled to Nashville to undergo an array of tests. The doctors wanted to wait a couple months to see if her eye would open on its own. On June 28, her eye did open, but she still had no vision.
Four months later, August 5, Caitlyn still had no vision in her eye and talk began of seeing a psychologist to offer assistance as she took steps to deal with her loss of sight. Move forward a few months to December 2, 2010, when she had another scheduled doctor’s visit. Morning arrived as it had since her injury, however, this day would be much different. As she opened her eyes that morning, she was able to see once again in her injured eye.
There was certainly near absolute doubt that she would ever regain sight in her eye again. It had been eight months since her injury, but Caitlyn Case was given a wonderful gift. A gift that many take for granted. Moving forward to the 2011 softball season, those in attendance for an Alice Lloyd softball game will find Caitlyn has rejoined the team. Not only is she on the team, she is the team captain. Coach John Mills spoke highly of his captain, “This season, Cati is the captain of the softball team. Her fielding percentage is .890 and her batting average is .260. She is the most solid player on our team. More importantly, she is the one that the other girls seek out when they are having any problems. She has set a fine example for our school.”
When asked about her ordeal, Caitlyn replied, “Through the entire experience, I kept my head held high and knew that one day I would play softball again and that one day my vision would return. It was a tough battle, for I faced the reality that I had to learn to do the simple things in my life all over again, because my depth perception was off due to the blindness in my eye. When I was at my worse in my battle, I turned to God for an answer. If it wasn’t for the faith and prayers of many, I would have never made it through this horrible time in my life.”
When asked how her life was different now, Caitlyn added, “ I now live everyday differently; I do not take for granted the things I have in my life and the people that mean the most to me. I look at each day as a blessing and am thankful to have the opportunity to step on the softball field once again to play the sport I love so much. The phrase, “Through Christ, all things are possible” remains dear to my heart.”
Caitlyn Case faced much adversity though her eight month ordeal. Through this adversity, she grew as a person and became a leader and tremendous example to her family, friends, and teammates. It was a devastating injury with a bleak outlook, but Case remained steadfast and confident. As a result, she has been named the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Female Comeback Player of the Year.