Father of paralyzed Lexington teen: 'It's been extremely hard'

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Doctors say he has a long road to recovery ahead of him. A Lexington high school baseball player seriously injured in a spring break accident.

His father gave us an update Thursday over the phone on his son's condition.

As we first reported Wednesday, investigators say 18-year-old Travis Gaines, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, was hurt while diving into the water in Destin, Florida.

It's been two days now since his 18-year-old son came out of the ocean paralyzed from the chest down. Travis Gaines was on a trip with his high school baseball team for a tournament when the accident happened.

His father, Keith Gaines, says a bystander drug him out of the water when they noticed he was in trouble. We are told Travis has a spinal cord injury but is stable and that's what his father says they've prayed for.

"He doesn't have full control of his fingers or hands, but he can move his arms and shoulders," said Keith Gaines, his father. And he added that on Thursday Travis had a small fever.

Without support from not only people they know but strangers and local businesses, Keith Gaines says he doesn't think Travis would stay so positive. Surrounded by his teammates and love on Facebook, he says Travis is doing okay.

"It's been extremely hard. It's something somebody obviously never wants to think about dealing with. You always think about it being the other person," said Travis' father.

What the future holds for Travis is still up in the air, but friends and family tell us they are hanging onto the hopes of a full recovery. They also pray that he can walk again some day.

"He's very deserving," said Travis' father. "He's a special kid."

The family tells us Travis Gaines will be at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida for another five to six days. We are told he is scheduled to then be transferred to a Louisville spine specialty facility.

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