Loyola's O'Hara continues to improve, remain upbeat

`I realize how lucky I am,' says junior midfielder

High School

May 06, 2002|By Lem Satterfield

Former Loyola lacrosse midfielder Dan O'Hara, who was briefly comatose after suffering career-ending head and facial injuries in an April 13 car accident, was smiling and mingling with friends Saturday while attending his third high school game since the accident.

O'Hara, who watched Loyola defeat Georgetown Prep, was thrown from a sport utility vehicle driven by a friend after it crashed into a parked car. He was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma in critical condition.

"The day of the accident, I went to the Maryland-Johns Hopkins game but I have no recollection of it," said O'Hara, 17, a junior who scored the tying and winning goals in a 12-11 triumph over St. Paul's four days before his accident.

"I can't recall what happened like three days before or eight days after the accident," said O'Hara, his face bruised on the right side and his right knee scarred. He also broke his collarbone. "The whole situation feels like a dream to me. I guess it's bad dream because I can't play lacrosse."

O'Hara said he has one week remaining in a two-week physical and occupational therapy regimen at Kennedy Krieger Institute and still is experiencing headaches and short-term memory loss. He could return to Loyola for final exams if he continues to improve.

Doctors have advised O'Hara, also a football player, not to play contact sports.

"I've accepted the fact that I have to stay away from sports," O'Hara said. "I realize how lucky I am. I won't risk anything else happening to me."

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