No parent wants their child to get hurt while playing ball, but for a 9-year-old Fairland boy, a slight injury led to a discovery that likely saved his life.
On July 4, Jacob Holdaway was hit in the head with a ball while he was playing kickball.
When he began to vomit and have severe headaches a few days later, his parents took him to a hospital, where doctors made an alarming discovery.
"He said, 'There's no trauma from being hit, but we did find a pretty large mass,' and I was just in complete disbelief," said Jacob's mother, Stacy Hamilton.
Doctors were able to remove most of the golf ball-sized mass, but a small piece remains, wrapped around a nerve.
"(I had surgery) in my brain, so I can feel better," Jacob said.
Doctors suspect the mass is benign, but the remaining piece could still cause problems, so Jacob will likely undergo chemotherapy.
In the meantime, an outpouring of support brings the family comfort, including a prayer page on Facebook, well wishes and even autographs from Jacob's favorite Christian band.
"We have faith in God. He's in control all the way," said Andy Hamilton, Jacob's father. "If he hadn't gotten hit, we wouldn't have found out."
Jacob's mother said she's glad the family didn't hesitate to take her son to the emergency room.
"The doctor told us this is something he's probably had for a while. If he hadn't got hit in the head, who knows what would have happened," Stacy Hamilton said. "You never know what's going on. Go with your instincts."
The family's church, Garfield Christian Church at 1751 Walker Ave. in Indianapolis, has established a fund for Jacob. Donations can be dropped off at the church.
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