Cameron Orman, a Hilldale High School freshman baseball player, had surgery Friday after breaking the fifth vertebrae in his neck during an incident of horseplay at the school’s baseball barn on Thursday afternoon.

Lonnie Orman, Cameron’s father, said his son was “horsing around with a friend” when the incident occurred. He said his 15-year-old son “lost his balance, went over head first and hit his head on the pavement, and the other boy fell on top of him.”

The elder Orman said he couldn’t identify the other boy in the incident. He said the surgery started at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

“It takes 2 1/2 to three hours,” Lonnie Orman said. “They’re putting a plate in. Part of the (fifth) vertebrae is gone. The c6 (sixth vertebrae) is on top of the fifth vertebrae, and they’re pulling that back. By rights, (Cameron) should be paralyzed. It’s a miracle.”

Lonnie Orman said his son was brought to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa from Hastings Indian Medical Center in Tahlequah.

“They got Cameron to St. Francis in a timely manner,” Orman said. “They were absolutely wonderful.

“It’s been pretty traumatic because they tell you that your son should be paralyzed. He’s gotten a lot of prayer and support from people. We believe he’s going to be fine.”

The elder Orman said he received a call from St. Francis after 2 p.m. Friday.

“They said they were closing the incision and everything went wonderful,” he said.

The elder Orman said he picked up his son around “7 to 7:15 p.m.” on Thursday.

“Another mother called to say he opted to ride with her instead of the bus because his neck was hurting,” he said. “She said that it looked like he hit his head. I’m a registered nurse by trade.”

Orman said he doesn’t know if there was any delay in treatment of his son.

“I wasn’t there,” he said. “I can’t answer that question honestly.”

Hilldale athletic director Erik Puckett said Friday afternoon that the incident was still under investigation.

“When we figure out the details, I can tell you more,” he said.

Orman said Cameron plays football and baseball for Hilldale.

“He loves sports,” Orman said. “He played quarterback on the junior varsity team and also plays left field, first base and sometimes catcher and pitcher on the baseball team. He’s doing much better, thanks to the Lord.”

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