ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) Around 150 community members gathered at a baseball field in Odessa Thursday night to pray for a 12-year-old baseball player who was hospitalized after being hit in the head during a tournament.
Diego Orona, called “Gogo” by family and friends, was up to bat on Sunday when a pitch hit him in the head. His father, Roger Orona, said the ball hit him right under the left ear underneath his helmet. Orona said his son was taken to a hospital in Lubbock for emergency surgery to elevate his fractured skull.
The accident happened on Sunday in the first inning of the first tournament game of the day for Mystery Baseball 12U Major team at Hogan Park in Midland.
According to a family member’s Facebook post, Diego “Gogo” Orona is doing well and has normal vitals as of Thursday afternoon. A MRI has been scheduled for Friday to see if the swelling is going down in Orona’s skull.
Thursday evening, community members gathered at Floyd Gwin Park and wore red shirts, many with #Gogostrong emblazoned on them. Behind the baseball diamond, community members lifted their voices in prayer, petition and praise on behalf of Orona.
Orona’s coach, Anthony Lopez, explained why the team decided to hold a prayer meeting.
“When two or three are gathered, our Father is there with us in the midst of all of it. And that’s who we need, He can change things in a minute,” he said.
Orona’s brother and teammate, Joeadrian Orona, said it was amazing to see how many people showed up in support.
“All the people that love him here and that are here to support him, it’s just so amazing to see how many people all these people love you Gogo and we all love you,” he said.
“I love him a lot and I just want him to get better,” Orona added.
Lopez’s cousin, a pastor at a local church, recited scriptures and a short sermon. The pastor then led the community prayer, and later, in worship. The community prayed for healing for Orona.
One teammate, Jayden Lopez, said Diego Orona is a source of encouragement for the players.
“He’s so happy all the time, he never has an attitude, he’s never mad. He’s just, like, always happy, never down, he don’t get mad. He’s the heart and soul of our team and we all love him. He inspires us all,” he said.
The prayer meeting touched the hearts of other teammates, showing they aren’t the only ones praying for Orona.
“It’s awesome. You’re gonna come back stronger kid, and you’re going to be even more better. We need you and we love you, you’re our little brother,” close friend Claudio Rodriguez said.
“It’s just wonderful. I love how everyone’s out here helping him and making him be stronger. I just want him to get better,” Jayden Lopez said.
And other teammates issued a personal message for Orona.
“Go go keep fighting kid, I know you can win it,” teammate Gerry Diaz said.
As the worship came to a close on Thursday, the family asked for continued prayer from their beloved community.
“Just keep on praying for him so he can keep on getting better and recover, hopefully,” Joeadrian Orona said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for medical bills. The fundraiser is called “GOGOSTRONG.”
The team is also fundraising to help pay Orona’s medical bills. The team is selling t-shirts and decided to host a ragball tournament next weekend. More information can be found at the following link: https://www.cbs7.com/content/news/Community-invited-to-come-together-in-prayer-for-hospitalized-baseball-player-508446821.html