Two years later, Holdenville’s Oske Lowe is still fighting to recover from a TBI
It has been two years since Oske Lowe walked off the football field in Holdenville, complaining of severe headaches. It has also been two years since Lowe walked or spoke.
Minutes after Lowe left the field, he collapsed and was airlifted to the OU Medical Center.
As his mother Nancy would learn, Oske was fighting for his life after experiencing a subdural hematoma – commonly referred to as bleeding of the brain – after a traumatic brain injury. In the process, a blood clot ruptured. It would take hours of emergency surgery to remove the pressure building up in Oske’s brain and slow the wave of damage taking place.
“At that time, it was if he makes it out of the hospital,” his mother, Nancy Randall, told KFOR.
Despite the odds, Oske survived through the process. After months in the hospital, Lowe was eventually released to go home in March 2017. That didn’t mean his fight was over, however.
Since then, Oske has required around the clock medical care and spends his time in a hospital grade bed. He still needs a feeding tube and is largely unresponsive. Yet, he still continues to gradually improve.
“His school therapists and teachers can see a difference from last year to this year how much more work they can get out of him,” his mother said.
His caregivers and parents have also seen the return of Oske’s more ornery side.
“He’d have therapists come in, and the days he didn’t want to work or who he wanted to worth with he’d act like he was sleeping, because he didn’t want to participate,” Nancy said.
These changes may seem small, but in cases like Oske’s, they mean everything. They show that Oske is still fighting every day, that he increasingly understands what is happening around him.
“It’s crazy how much you learn from something like this. A life changing event. How you learn to live and take everything day to day,” Nancy said. “You don’t look too far ahead.”
There is no denying that Oske’s injury drastically changed his and his family’s life. Beyond the effects of the injury and the critical care Lowe requires, it has also changed how his family sees football – Oske’s favorite sport and the probable source of his brain injury.
These days, Nancy goes out of her way to avoid football. KFOR says she can’t stand to hear the sound of helmets slamming together. But, there is one day she makes an exception for – Oske’s night.
Every year since his injury, the Holdenville football team has honored Oske by wearing special green jerseys and encouraging traumatic brain injury awareness. The fans in the stadium also take part, making the community’s support of Oske clear to see. This year, the opposing team’s fans also took part, wearing green shirts to show support for Oske.
“It means a great deal for everyone to show their support and play in his honor,” Nancy said. “It’s just truly a blessing to still have him here with us.”
Holdenville also let Oske join his classmates when they graduated last May. Though he wasn’t technically graduating, he was allowed to cross the stage as an “honorary member” of the 2017 graduating class.
His family and supporters are documenting Lowe’s gradual recovery on the Facebook page “Oske’s Journey” and they remain positive in the face of a long hard road back from his injury.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge but nothing we haven’t got through,” Nancy said. “He still smiles. I still smile.”