Teammates show support for Lakota West freshman with muscular dystrophy

Lakota West supports freshman after surgery

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A local high-school freshman can see again after surgery to restore his vision, and his teammates were there to support him afterwards.

Lakota West’s freshmen football and basketball teams are on something of a run: 83-2 the last three years. Now comes a young man named Brody Hammons, a student who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Hammons is part of the team, a full-fledged firebird.

Coach Scott Vanderhaar praises the tight-knot bond Hammons and his teammates have developed.

“They’ve really taken him under their wing and protected him, like a big brother kind of thing," Vanderhaar said.

It’s why nearly every time he goes to the hospital, according to his parents, Hammons sports a Lakota West shirt.

But those hospital visits are trials more often than triumphs: “I’m not sure we’ve ever gone to the hospital and come out with improvement or better, ever,” said Ric Muskopf, Hammons’s mother.

Case in point, the medication Hammons takes for his condition recently caused cataracts so severe he could hardly see. He lived legally blind for months.

“Like, when I went to the eye doctor, I couldn’t see the second word on the eye chard,” Hammons said.

In what became the ninth surgery of Hammons’s young life, doctors removed the cataracts and restored his vision.

“He came out of surgery and immediately could see," Muskopf said. "Yeah, he was like, ‘Woah! Look at the colors! Woah, look at that, mom!’”

Hammons had plenty to look at when he got home. That’s thanks to his Lakota West friends and teammates.

“They put football and basketball signs in the front of my yard,” Hammons said.

There were balloons too. And now Hammons has a belt to his name, a belt that’ll be given out by Vonderhaar to players-of-the-game from now on.

“I went out and bought one of those WWE belts,” said Vonderhaar. “I’m going to call the award, ‘The Brody.’”

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