Injured Lexington baseball player still in serious condition after diving accident

jcheves@herald-leader.comApril 5, 2013 

Travis Gaines, a Lexington teenager who injured his neck at a Florida beach on Tuesday, remained in serious condition Friday at a Pensacola hospital.

Doctors were able to reduce Gaines' fever, said Kevin Moore, a friend of the Gaines family who this week created a Facebook page called "Let's Rally Around Travis Gaines." Gaines has some movement in his arms and fingers but not much feeling in them, Moore said. He also had difficulty breathing on Friday.

"It's a waiting game from here," Moore said. He said Gaines is still scheduled to transfer to the Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville on Monday, "if all goes well."

Gaines, 18, is a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and an outfielder and first baseman on the school's baseball team. He hurt his neck while diving into the surf of the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, apparently hitting a sandbar. Gaines was on the Gulf Coast with his baseball team for the Florida Beach Bash Tournament, which draws 30 teams to the area each spring.

Gaines is the son of recently retired Lexington police Lt. Keith Gaines and Rhonda Northcutt Keeney.

On the Facebook page created for Gaines, photos have been posted showing him in a neck brace as he visits with his teammates in his room at Sacred Heart Hospital. Many Central Kentucky businesses are pledging on the page to raise money for the Gaines family to help with medical expenses. Nearly $20,000 has been raised so far, Moore said.

Gaines' stepmother, Nici Gaines, posted a note on the page Thursday expressing the student's gratitude for "the love and support you are showing."

"Travis is above average. Travis is EXCEPTIONAL," she wrote. "So if/when you hear statistics about what usually happens after an accident like this, ignore them. Because Travis is not average. He has been amazing since the day he was born. And he will continue to do amazing things."

John Cheves: (859) 231-3266. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog:

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