Family says Emerson College student suffered extensive, irreparable brain damage in fight

BOSTON (WHDH) – An Emerson College student will likely not recover from extensive and irreparable brain damage that he sustained during a fight at a party early Saturday morning, his family said.

Daniel Hollis and his friends were leaving a party when a group of college-aged boys confronted them, according to a post on the family’s Caring Bridge page. This allegedly led to a physical fight in which Hollis subsequently hit his head on either cement or bricks.

The sophomore fell unconscious and was taken to a Boston hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a blood clot on his brain, the family added.

Hollis underwent emergency surgery but scans as of Monday morning showed that he had “extensive and unrepairable (sic) damage to large sections of his brain,” the family wrote.

He will reportedly not regain consciousness due to the damage to his brain stem. His brain also sustained damage to areas that control body functions, such as breathing and his heart.

Hollis’s mother, in daily postings of her son’s status on social media, wrote yesterday: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that Jay, Kate, and I share our latest update. Due to the damage to his brain stem, he will not regain n consciousness. He will not be able to sustain life, even with the aid of life support systems.”

They are asking the public to keep Hollis in their thoughts and prayers as the medical team keeps him comfortable and pain-free while family arrives at the hospital.

“We ask that you focus on the positive: his infectious smile, his goofy sense of humor, his love for music, hockey, lacrosse and most importantly his love for his friends and family,” the family wrote. “The positive energy is making it to him and surrounding him with love while he is still with us.”

Emerson College issued a statement that read in part, “The Emerson College community’s thoughts and support are with Dan’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”

In the small town of Hopedale, residents were shaken by this news. School officials at Hopedale High where Hollis graduated from in 2018 say he was a great student who excelled on the hockey and lacrosse teams and still is a role model for the younger kids.

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