The community gathered in Worcester, Massachusetts, Tuesday night to raise funds for Tonya Carpenter, who was struck by a broken bat at Boston's Fenway Park earlier this month.
“The bat basically shattered her skull, it broke her facial bones,” began Sam Rosario, who was with Carpenter when she was struck.
Rosario and Carpenter, along with Carpenter’s young son, were sitting along the third base line, just two rows back from the field, when Brett Lawrie from the Oakland A’s broke his bat in the second inning.
“The scream that she let out in that park was horrific, I think everyone that was in that park felt that scream,” Rosario said.
Tuesday night a tearful Rosario thanked supporters at a fundraiser organized by Dave Shablin, the man who gave Sam and Tonya the tickets that night.
“Tonya recently just started a new job, she doesn’t have any sick time, no vacation time, she recently bought a house, and she also has an 8-year-old son," Shablin said.
Earlier, in his first interview since that tragic night, Rosario says Carpenter had a traumatic brain injury, and is relearning how to talk and walk.
“The doctor even told her 'you’re not supposed to be alive,' it’s a miracle she’s actually at this progress of her recovery,” Rosario explained.
She does not remember the actual incident.
“When she finally awoke, her first words were 'Where’s my son? Is he safe?' and I thought that was the most beautiful thing in the world.”
The little boy had seen what happened to his mom.
“I think he was holding me, I don’t think I was holding him, but we were holding each other tightly, because we were both very scared for her,” Rosario said.
For now, Carpenter remains in rehab, but she could be going home in the next couple of weeks. Insurance is paying the medical bills, but she likely won’t be able to return to work for at least a year, and she’s grateful for all of the fundraising efforts.
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