SAN FRANCISCO - Wednesday marks 10 years since Giants fan Bryan Stow was viciously beaten into a coma at Dodger Stadium. Many people didn’t think he'd survive but he did with a greater calling. KTVU caught up with Stow and has the latest on his recovery.
"Every single day I wake up I thank God I’m alive," said Bryan Stow.
Ten years ago, Stow was clinging on to life and to think today, the 52-year-old can walk, talk and function on his own is remarkable.
"A miracle?" said Stow’s mother Ann. "Definitely I call Bryan my miracle boy."
"I can get out of bed. I can eat really well in case you haven't noticed (smiles)," said Stow.
One can’t help but smile at Stow’s sense of humor and his upbeat personality, given all he’s been through.
It was opening day of the 2011 season at Dodger Stadium, the father of two, wearing a Buster Posey jersey, was attacked in the stadium parking lot.
The story gripped the baseball world and the Bay Area. Stow was in a medically induced coma for months. How could a fan watching a game be beaten to near death?
"That’s the first thing I said was why?" said Stow.
His attackers were sentenced to years in prison and the Dodgers were also found negligent in a civil lawsuit.
"We talk about our athletic heroes but Bryan is really a community hero," said San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer.
Baer was in the stadium that night and visited Stow in the hospital. Since the attack, Major League Baseball imposed new security measures including better lighting in parking lots.
"The reason people responded is because it could have been anybody, it could have been one of us," said Baer.
Support from the Giants and complete strangers has helped Stow immensely through the years. His parents are his full-time caretakers. They are most proud of his resilience.
"I don't think I’ve ever seen Bryan mad or upset about his situation," said Ann Stow.
The former Santa Clara County resident is now saving lives a different way.
"I think I have a different calling," said Stow. "I’m spreading God’s word about anti-bullying and anti-fan violence."
He can’t do school presentations during the pandemic but he hopes to in the near future. He also hopes the Giants win another World Series.
"Nothing is impossible," said Baer. "Bryan has showed nothing is impossible so bring it on World Series 2021 with Bryan Stow. I guarantee you he will have a role throwing out one of the first pitches."
That day, March 31, 2011, a decade ago altered Stow’s life forever. His scars are visible and physical therapy is needed, but his fighting spirit is fully intact and the strength to deal with what curve balls life throws his way.
"Thank you for believing in me, thank you for all you’ve done for me," said Stow. "You just have to make every day as good as possible."
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.