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Monday, October 10, 2011
After three months, Hatch leaves hospital

By Eamonn Brennan

By now, you've surely heard the sad story of Michigan prospect and Fort Wayne, Ind., native Austin Hatch, who was severely injured in a plane crash that killed his father and stepmother on June 24. Since then, Hatch has been in a hospital in Fort Wayne, where he has been recovering from injuries to his head, punctures in his lung, and fractures in his collarbone and ribs.

It's Hatch who had just accepted a scholarship offer to play for Michigan when the crash occurred. Even worse, Hatch and his father had already survived a plane crash, one that had killed his biological mother and two siblings. This crash leaves Hatch without either his father or his stepmother, and now that he is ready to come home, the challenge for his extended family is figuring out exactly where "home" is. From the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:
“We are extremely thankful and relieved that Austin is home with us,” Hatch’s family said Sunday in an emailed statement. The family, however, did not say where “home” will be for Hatch, who had been living in Fort Wayne with his father and stepmother, Dr. Stephen and Kim Hatch. [...]

“While Austin has made great improvements, he still has obstacles to overcome as he continues to heal, grieve and acclimate to life after tragedy,” the statement said.

I can't imagine how those obstacles will feel, how difficult that combination of physical, mental and emotional anguish must be. But the good news, at the absolute least, is that a young, smart kid with a bright future still has his chance to see that future play out. That's about the only positive one can take from the Hatch tragedy. But at least it's something.