Field of Vision: Loyola softball player Molly Miltko - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Field of Vision: Loyola softball player Molly Miltko

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April 20th 2016 was just a routine practice for the Loyola softball team. 

“We were just playing go home, you know make the play at home, we hit the ball at our shortstop and we train the kids if you don’t make the play just go to one,” said Loyola Head Coach Troy Waters.

Standing by first base was Molly Miltko, who was talking with a teammate not knowing a ball was heading right for her. 

“And I just heard my name and turned a slight glance and it hit me in the eye,” said Miltko.

Molly, happened to not be wearing her facemask but at the time didn’t think much of the injury. 

“Maybe it was just going to be a black eye and I would be at school the next day like look someone beat me I got into a fight! But that wasn’t really it,” said Miltko.

After not being able to see out of her left eye her Mom took her to the Rocky Mountain Eye Center to get a scan.

“My wife sent me a text and said you know I don’t think this is as routine as they thought it was going to be because they are taking some additional scanning and we knew at that moment that it was probably much more severe,” said Molly’s Dad Kevin Miltko.

The ball hit Molly directly in the middle of her cornea completely separating the retina from the back of her eye, and the outlook wasn’t good. 

“They were like, you might not be able to see out of this eye again and I was like oh no, I am going to be partially blind,” said Miltko.

Initially she was told her softball career was over and she wouldn’t even be able to go back to school for five months. But it was such a rare injury that the doctors didn’t really know how her eye would heal. She would actually gain back enough peripheral vision that she returned later that season.

“You know my wife and I were up in the stands and we were just weeping the whole time it was just a gift that we never thought we would see her on the softball field again,” said Kevin Miltko.

But Molly couldn’t see well enough to really catch a ball, she played DH and somehow was able to hit.

“There was a point in time when the ball would disappear completely out of my vision,” said Miltko.

“The way she described it was, I can see the ball up to about here and then it goes completely blank I can’t see it anymore,” said Kevin Miltko.

But after six months Molly’s retina didn’t naturally re-attach to her eye like the doctors hoped, so she had to go to Salt Lake City to have surgery. 

“If you have an eye surgery they put a gas bubble in your eye, so I had to be on my face for two weeks,” said Molly.

The surgery was a success. This is her eye now. You can see the cells are slowly rebuilding and her central vision is coming back. And Molly is able to make it back on the softball field. 

“To have her back is a huge thing for our team she works extremely hard she is one of the first kids here last one’s to leave, always positive, she is what we want in a softball player,” said Waters.

It’s been a long road of recovery and one that certainly isn’t over but Molly’s made sure to be positive every step of the way.

“I think about how hard it was and how lucky I am to have two good eyes and being able to see and the ability to have that fixed, I am mostly grateful from that experience,” said Molly.

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