Community rallies to help boy who collapsed on baseball field

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KTVU) -- A fundraiser is planned in Pleasanton this Sunday to help the family of an 11-year old boy who has been hospitalized ever since he suddenly collapsed on a baseball field last May.

Dillon O'Leary has been at Oakland Children's Hospital for 120 days. He was in a coma the first month.

"The last thing he did tell me was 'I love you dad' and I said 'I love you too son'" Patrick O'Leary recalled about that day. "And he just went unconscious."

Dillion is believed to have had an AVM, arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of vessels in his brain that burst. Dillon's mother, Karina, got teary-eyed talking about her son's absence.

"We definitely miss our Dillon," she said. "It's been tough. It's been a blessing all at the same time."

A blessing because some of Dillon's favorite athletes have sent their encouragement.

"This is the brand new Crawford jersey," Patrick said reading the autograph on the Giants shirt "To Dillon, Stay strong!"

Dillon's friends have send cards with well wishes.

"We secretly found out Dillon likes turtles," his mom said, showing a card with a turtle drawn in crayon.

Now Dillon's neighbor is organizing a fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 30th at Barones Restaurant in Pleasanton from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"Well, I'd love for Dillon to come home," neighbor Bree Gomes said fighting back tears. "I'd just like to do whatever I can to help this family out."

Gomes is hoping to get 700 people to the fundraiser. 100 percent of the ticket proceeds go the the O'Leary family. Patrick O'Leary recently quit his job to help take care of his son.

"When you meet somebody that has a pure soul and is genuine, you know it," Gomes said, wiping away tears. "That was Dillon for me."

Gomes says the neighborhood has been quiet without Dillon to gather the kids to play.

"He just has so much life to him," Gomes said. "I want the noise back."

If you are interested in purchasing tickets for Sunday's fundraiser at Barones Restaurant, or making a donation to the O'Leary family, you can contact Bree Gomes at blgomes@yahoo.com or 510-557-2079.

Donations can also be made directly to the family's GoFundMe page, Prayers For Dillon.

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