Community shows support for Lakota student-athlete in hospital after stroke

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - At just 15-years-old, a local student-athlete is in need of a miracle.

The Lakota West sophomore collapsed after a lacrosse game this past weekend and has since been in a coma. Matt Stratman's parents describe their son as high-spirited and enthusiastic both on and off the field.

"Very energetic, very athletic, but more importantly to us, very respectful of others," said the teen's father Ron Stratman.

The 15-year-old could be considered a triple threat, not just because he's a triplet, but also because he's gifted at football, basketball, and lacrosse.

"He's blossomed, and his speed and agility has made him, I think, a good contender," said his mother Julie Stratman.

His proud parents were stunned and shocked when his health took a terrible turn Saturday. He had just played a Lakota West alumni lacrosse game when he developed a severe headache. While an ambulance was on the way, he collapsed and was ultimately rushed to the hospital.

His mother said he has been unconscious since then.

Initially, his family suspected it was heat stroke, but they said doctors told them he actually has a congenital disorder of blood vessels in the brain. He was diagnosed with an AVM, or an Arteriovenous malformation. His mom and dad were told it's an abnormality that caused him to have a stroke due to bleeding in the brain.

The doctors at Cincinnati Children's are working around the clock to treat him. Right now, Matt Stratman's family says he's in a coma and is on life support.

"It's a shock. We're still trying to digest and process this," said his father.

Community support, from Lakota staff members to athletic teams to people they've never met, has been incredible. There have been numerous "Stratman strong" posts on social media, and there was a prayer vigil Sunday night. The teen's loved ones said they're thankful for all of the support and are trusting that his winning attitude will bring home what would be the biggest win of all -- his recovery. 

There is a GoFundMe page in place to help cover the costs of Matt's medical care. A Caring Bridge site has also been created to keep the community posted on his condition.

To learn more about Matt's disorder, visit the American Stroke Association's website.

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