Bocce Ball Accident
By: CJ Cassidy
A Southeast Missouri boy survives a freak accident at school, and now his parents want answers.
Imagine picking your child up from school, not knowing he suffered life threatening injuries earlier that day.
Monday, 12-year-old Eddie Dembowski got hit in the head so hard during a game of bocce ball, he had to have brain surgery.
His parents are devastated, and say school leaders never called them about their son's injury to begin with.
The boy's father says doctors have told him Eddie's lucky to be recovering so well, but it could have turned out a lot worse.
"It didn't appear like much more than a big goose egg, about the size of a golf ball but he was vomiting, and they did a cat scan, and then immediately sent him to operating room to remove blood from his brain," Eddie Dembowski says.
He calls the hours his son spent in surgery the scariest of his life.
His son says he was excited about playing bocce ball; a new game school leaders introduced as a summer activity.
"I threw the ball and went out to see if I was close or not, and then the kid behind me threw his, and nobody said anything. All of a sudden I remember I hit the ground, and started shaking a little bit. Then the coach came and got me, and took me to his room with some ice," Eddie says from his hospital bed.
His family realizes accidents happen, but his parents want to know about them when they do.
"Anytime someone receives a head injury, the parents should be notified because I feel that's up to them to figure out whether or not they want to have that checked out," Dembowski says.
Bell City Principal Matt Asher says no one called Eddie's parents because the bocce ball injury didn't look serious.
"We'll go back, and review the things we do, the policies and procedures regarding injuries at school. We may just notify for anything," Asher says.
In the meantime, Eddie Dembowski says he'll sit by his son's bedside, until he can take him home.
"God certainly answered our prayers," he says.
As for his son, he says he isn't sure if he'll play bocce ball again.
Eddie was transferred out of the intensive care unit Tuesday afternoon. He's expected to go home on Friday, but it will be a while before he returns to summer school.