Austin Nelson post-surgery. (Source: Austin Nelson)
Doctors removed a rare skull base tumor from Nelson. The tumor began affecting his vision. (Source: Austin Nelson)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
On the diamond and in the batter's box, coaches preach, 'keep your eye on the ball.'
But that was easier said than done for Austin Nelson.
"It was when I would either still a bag or run to second, I would try to look at Coach Zaleski, our third base coach, and I couldn't see him," Nelson said. "What I would do, I would have to close my right eye."
What started out as an inconvenience, became much more.
"I can still remember to this day being told that 'you have a brain tumor and you have to have surgery.'"
Doctors found a rare skull base tumor-- so rare in fact, his case is being published.
"Being told that, I really didn't know what to think. I instantly got scared and worried," admitted Nelson. "I would always think, what if? What if I don't make it through the surgery? What if something bad happens?"
With a positive mindset, Nelson's surgery was successful.
Now, just 4 months later, he's putting that same determination into the game.
"People were saying that, 'you may never play again.' I was like, 'I'm going to play again. You're not going to stop me.'"
And in Nelson's first game back, he hit it out of the park.
"When I hit it, As I was rounding first I had goosebumps. When I rounded third, the tears started coming. It took the whole rest of the ending, I just went to the bathroom and I couldn't stop crying, because I was just thinking about my parents, girlfriend and friends and what they have been going through. I know they were so excited for me. It was really for them."