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Ex-Atlanta Braves player Keith Lockhart and family ask for prayers for son on life support

The 15-year-old son of a former Atlanta Braves player has been on life support after being hit in the face by a baseball during a game.
/ Source: TODAY

Former Atlanta Braves player Keith Lockhart and his family are asking for prayers for his 15-year-old son, who is on life support after being hit in the face by a baseball during a tournament last week.

Doctors initially thought Jason Lockhart only needed some stitches after he was struck in the face by a throw from the catcher during a game in South Carolina on June 17, his family said.

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But the injury was much more serious. Two days later, the bleeding would not stop, and he was taken to an Atlanta hospital, where tests discovered a torn artery.

Doctors have been working to control the bleeding since.

His sister, Sydney, a has been providing regular updates of his condition on Facebook, including one saying Jason was scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to replace the packing in his face and check for any areas of bleeding.

Jason also underwent surgery on Sunday to do to locate the source of the bleeding and clot off the area, Sydney wrote.

"We are amazed with the outpouring of love, support and prayers for our family and our sweet Jason,'' the family said in a statement to TODAY.

"People come together in these tough times and the power of prayer is unlike anything else. Keep the prayers coming. And pray for all the sweet kiddos and the families here in the hospital with us. We ALL need them."

The initial injury occurred as Jason was crossing home plate at the same moment the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher. The ball struck Jason in the face, breaking his nose.

After receiving stitches, Jason's nose continued to bleed heavily two days later.

A CT scan revealed there was a laceration of an artery in his nose, resulting in Jason being sedated for two days due to the pain.

Even subtle movements were causing constant bleeding, ultimately resulting in Jason being heavily sedated and put on life support on Friday, according to Sydney.

He has a breathing tube and has been sedated to "a paralytic level" so that he won't be able to cough or move, which could potentially cause more bleeding, Jason's mother wrote in another update.

"Through your prayers, and God's hand, this uneventful night gave me and our family that jolt of faith and hope that we have been desperately needing,'' she wrote.

"Thank you for those that have sat with us in the middle of the night while Jason was in surgery, prayed with us, cried with us, distracted us, brought food and snacks, and the many texts and emails full of scripture, love, prayers, or anything on your hearts to reach out to us."

Keith also thanked everyone for their support of Jason.

Keith played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1994-2003, including six of them for the Braves. He is now a scout for the Chicago Cubs.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.