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Preschooler thrives after a T-Ball hit saves his life

Carter Family photo with kids on parents shoulders

Carter Henley enjoys a hike with his little brother, Levi, mom, Katie, and dad, Patrick.


By Katie Chen

Carter Henley is like most 4-year-old boys. He enjoys playing with his little brother, Levi, and loves anything active, like running, biking, and swimming. He also takes his role as head tomato farmer in his family’s backyard in Bakersfield, California, very seriously.

“He does all the taste-testing, and we rarely get a ripe tomato inside the house because they’re gone by the time he finds them,” says Katie Henley, Carter’s mom.

Carter brings that same energy and passion to everything he does. In April 2021, during his very first T-ball game, Carter ran headfirst into another child while trying to catch a ball. He appeared fine, except for a large bump on his head, until the next day, when he threw up at lunchtime.


“It was like alarm bells in my head,” Katie says. “I looked at my husband, Patrick, and said he could have a concussion. I’ve always ridden horses, and that’s one of the first things you think about—if you fall, hit your head, and throw up, you need to go to the ER and get it checked out.”