Somewhere inside of AT&T Park on Thursday night, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow watched Game 2 of the World Series as a guest of his favorite team. It is believed to be Stow's first appearance at a Major League Baseball game since the life-threatening, life-altering beating he sustained outside of Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011.
The Giants published a message on a stadium scoreboard announcing Stow's presence at the game, and fans gave it a warm response. Stow's family requested privacy — and the Giants didn't give out Stow's seat location — so do not expect an interview or even much of a photo. And that's OK, even if it leaves us to wonder and worry about how he is progressing.
Stow, a 43-year-old father of two and a paramedic from Santa Cruz, Calif., sustained severe skull and brain injuries, from some of which he might never fully recover. It took him months to speak, and to walk outdoors. Suspects Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood have been ordered to stand trial for the beating, which has impacted many lives.
An early season highlight for the Giants in 2012 came when Stow's 13-year-old son, Tyler, threw out the first pitch with his dad on the video board, giving him a virtual assist.
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The most recent entry from his family's blog, dated Oct. 9, says in part:
As always, there are good days and not so good days. Despite the extra bone growth he developed, he still is working hard in all his therapies. It is painful for him and he is adamant that his fingers are broken (they aren't) and one time insisted he had a broken foot.
His memory is very unpredictable and we don't know what he will remember and what he won't. We imagine that this is something that will be a part of his recovery for a long time. Sometimes, trying to bring back those memories for him is fun, however, most recently Bry had forgotten our grandparents had passed away; one in 2006 and one in 1993. We had to help him mourn that loss all over again, which was emotional.
On a happier note, Bryan is back to caring about what his hair looks like and needs to put gel in it every morning. He still loves doing karaoke twice a week and still sings Eye of the Tiger (several times with growls) and has added Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera, which cracks us up every time.
So, when it's revealed that Stow has appeared at a Giants game — the World Series, no less — it's good news. But it's also bittersweet. It's tough to know how difficult his life must be. His family appears to be putting forth a colossal effort to keep him functioning at his current abilities, whatever they might be. Hopefully, he has enjoyed the game, and his family has enjoyed Stow being there.
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