A Gainesville High School baseball player who was hit in the head in a freak accident at the school’s batting cages has been pronounced brain dead, his family announced Wednesday.

Jeremy Medina, 17, remains on life support at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville after being declared dead by neurological criteria, according to Dr. Michael Cormican, the hospital’s director of surgical critical care. Medina had been in a coma since he was hit in the head Nov. 20. He was pronounced brain dead Sunday, 13 days after the accident.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, the Medina family said they will honor Jeremy’s wishes to become an organ donor, which he expressed when he got his driver’s license.

The family and close friends will perform an honor walk with Jeremy’s body when it is taken to the operating room for the organ donation procedures, pastor Frank Medina, Jeremy’s uncle, said. The date and time for the honor walk are still to be determined, and Jeremy will be laid to rest after the procedure.

At least 30 supporters of the family attended the news conference. Several could not hold back tears as they filed out of the hospital’s auditorium.

Gainesville High School Principal Jamie Green said counselors would be available for students and faculty at the school for as long as they were needed. He thanked the Medina family for informing Jeremy’s baseball teammates and coaches of his death at a gathering earlier Wednesday morning.

Green previously said that the accident happened when Jeremy leaned into the net of the batting cage at the same moment the batter swung. The batter struck Jeremy in the head on his follow-through.

“There was no horseplay, no misconduct and no intent,” Green said.

Cormican explained that the reasons for Jeremy’s severe neurological injuries were related to a loss of breathing control after he was hit in the head and knocked unconscious. His inability to breathe after being hit led to a lack of oxygen reaching his brain.

Both Cormican and Green commented on the inspiring strength displayed by the Medina family over the prior weeks.

“I’ve got a teenage son myself and honestly can’t imagine the pain that this family has to deal with,” Cormican said. “It’s been inspiring to see how they’ve handled this with grace and prayerful thought.”

“You’ve been a source of great inspiration for us, with your faith and your leadership,” Green said. “It’s helped me lead this school community after this very challenging time.”

David Medina, Jeremy’s father, said they had leaned heavily on their faith throughout the ordeal.

“We are a family of faith. We walk by faith and not sight,” he said.

He emphasized that Jeremy’s injuries were the result of an accident, and he thanked those who offered prayers or reached out with messages of condolence, many of whom he said did not even know his family.

Frank Medina read a statement about the decision to donate the teenage athlete’s organs and tissue.

“Not only will lives be saved and improved, but the family members, friends and communities of those who receive his organs and tissues will be forever impacted by the memories made possible thanks to a second chance at life,” he said. “Although his life ended so young, Jeremy’s legacy will continue through his selfless decision to give the gift of life. We encourage others to consider following Jeremy’s example and register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor.”

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