A former Lassiter High School teenager injured in a car accident threw out the first pitch at a baseball game on Tuesday.
Last summer, Christopher Heitzman and two friends were involved in a car wreck on Trickum Road in Marietta. The driver, Ryan Achenbach was killed. The third teen was not hurt.
Christopher spent months in the hospital and at Shepherd Center. He only recently came home to finish his therapy.
"The biggest issues that we have right now with the brain injury is just reprogramming himself and rewiring the nerves to function correctly," said Randy Heitzman, Christopher's father.
"It's pretty hard some days to see him struggle and eat -- it's just sad," Davis Heitzman, Christopher's brother. "But I'm just glad that I'm able to have him and to see him improve and become my brother again."
Randy Heitzman said that throwing out the opening pitch at Tuesday's game was a sign of how much the former Lassiter High baseball player has progressed.
"A few months ago he wasn't able to even hardly get out of bed and just for him to be here and just to have a ball in his hand is amazing," Randy Heitzman said.
The players on the Lassiter High team have Chris' number, 17, embroidered on their hats. Christopher played four years on the team.
"It warms our heart to everyone here with number 17 on," said Christopher's mother.
His father says, when Christopher watches the other players on the field, he knows his son wants to be out there with them.
"That's where he wants to be. That's for sure. And I think that's why he pushes himself to work hard and do the best he can," said his father.
In the last several months, friends and neighbors have held numerous fundraisers to help Christopher get the specialized care that he needs.
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