WEST CHESTER – Lakota West rising sophomore Matt Stratman’s family received some “devastating” news last week after June 20 MRI results showed more damage than they could have imagined.
Stratman fell into a coma due to bleeding in the brain June 9. Across West Chester, Butler County, Fairfield and Liberty Township, #StratmanStrong supporters have offered prayers, fundraisers and any support they can provide.
His dad, Ron, penned an emotional statement describing their experience as “a living hell,” where he tempered his grief with a message of hope and gratitude for the impact his son’s made on their community.
Stratman’s condition was undiagnosed as it was originally thought he suffered heat exhaustion after playing in a lacrosse game against Lakota West alumni. He complained of head pain, was iced and treated and then passed out. Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center medical professionals later determined Matt had an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain. Such conditions are preexisting.
Since then, amid prayers going up on the family’s behalf, the community hosted a rally on Lakota West’s field the next day and held a charity car wash, which brought in more than $13,000. Businesses donated food and provided even more fundraisers.
The Stratmans have posted periodically on a Caring Bridge page set up on their behalf.
The post June 21, one day after doctors delivered the MRI results, was as difficult to read as it probably was for mother, Julie, to write:
“The meeting with the neurosurgery/neurology team was devastating. The MRI revealed the amount of damage was more than we could have imagined. Matt’s AVM is in a place that was vital to all brain function. His body is slowly giving up. We are heartbroken. Eva, Tom & Katie are trying to understand it all along with us. Ron is at the hospital tonight with Matt.”
Eva, Tom and Katie are his siblings. Matt, Eva and Tom are triplets. Matt’s grandparents also made a post thanking the businesses and individuals who have worked to support the family and help ease the pain.