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Four Titans Players Come Through in Real Life Save Situation.

POSTED July 09, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: None of them are relievers but four Torrington Titans sure helped make a great save on Sunday night when a young man was in dire need of guys who could stay calm in the face of a crisis.

R.J. Going, Chris Scura, Anthony Capuano and Jack St. Clair, all Titans for the summer of 2014, had just settled in at the home of Levent and Susan Kolukisa (the host family of Going and Scura) after returning home from a 10-9 win over the Pittsfield Sun in a Futures Collegiate Baseball League road contest.

Also gathered around the campfire the family had going were the two Kolukisa children, 14-year old Daniel and nine year old Sophia.

Daniel is well known to the Titans. In 2013 the team held a “Team Daniel” night to support research to help the more than 60,000 people in just Connecticut that suffer from Epilepsy.

This Friday night at Fuessenich Park in Torrington is scheduled to be a fundraiser for “Team Daniel”. The team had the Kolukisa family and friends to the park in 2013 and a lively, energetic then 13-year old had an absolute blast.

Daniel threw out the first pitch and got to hang out with the players before, during and after the game.

So one can imagine the delight Daniel felt when he got to have two players stay with him for the entire summer. The four players, who have become close friends in a hurry this summer, and the family were sitting toasting marshmallows and making smores with the usual joking and jostling that goes on between a 14-year old and his rock star college players.

“Everything was going great.” Susan Kolukisa said. “The boys and we were sitting around the fire when R.J. went to get some chocolate when I saw Daniel lunge towards him. I thought they were just fooling around like they always do until we saw Daniel was falling. He was having a seizure.”

What happened next is a testament to a battle tested family and college men who knew just what to do by instinct.

“Daniel fell into and knocked over the table.” Kolukisa said. “Right away, Chris took Sophia into the house and distracted her so she was not so focused on what was happening outside. He knew just what to do without us saying anything which let us worry about taking care of Daniel.”

It was after 10 and dark in the back yard, less the fire so the remaining player reached for their cell phones to turn on their flashlights so the parents could work on their son.

“Anthony was timing the seizure,” Kolukisa said. “If they go for more than five minutes it’s just that much more serious. R.J. ran inside and got the medicine we needed. My husband and I were able to just pay attention to what was happening with Daniel.”

The seizure lasted about a minute and a half but must have seemed like a lifetime to those who saw it happen.  

According to the mayo Clinic, a grand mal seizure features a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.

It is simply terrifying to those who are trying to help but not something the person experiencing  it will remember and that’s a blessing for certain.

“We always tell Daniel that we need a little time to process what just happened.” Kolukisa said. “He recalls nothing and gets right back into the swing of things.”

A neighbor, who is a nurse, was called and came to the house to take Daniels vitals which turned out to be okay but as a precaution, the family and players headed to the hospital.

“It took Daniel between 15-20 minutes to come completely back to us.” Kolukisa said. “So we decided to have him checked out as a precaution.”

Daniel had been seizure free for 18-months. If he had gone 24-months he could have come off of the daily medication. The clock has had to be restarted.

A tough break for a young man who simply doesn’t let his condition control him.

During my conversation with his mom, he was on the field playing ball.

As for the performance of the four young men in the face of something that had to be terrifying, Kolukisa could not be more grateful.

“I am always amazed at how people react in one of the scariest situations they may ever find themselves in.” Kolukisa said. “These boys did everything right. They got Sophia inside, they got pillows and medicine we needed right away. It would have been so much harder if just my husband and I had been by ourselves.”

The following day, the four amigos were back at the Kolukisa household, fooling around and kidding with Daniel as though nothing happened.

“Daniel goes back to normal very fast.” Kolukisa said. “He doesn’t complain, he just keeps moving forward.”

Game time on Friday night at Fuessenich Park is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“Team Daniel”, with four new exclusive members who will be honored beforehand, will be back lending support to one strong young man and four new Kolukisa family members who helped make a scary situation just a little bit easier.

NOTES: To hear that these four players, Scura, Going, Capuano and St Clair knew what to do and did it does not come as a surprise to anyone who has spent any time with them.

The four appeared at the Torrington Applebee’s on our Litchfield County Sports Show and clicked from the start.

They made a trip to the Harwinton Consolidated School on a Monday off day and mesmerized over 165 second and third graders during their two hour autograph session.

Capuano lived at the Gaffney house until allergies forced him to try and hit 90-miles per hour fastballs with blurry eyes. Not a good plan.

His stay with us earned him the nickname of “Stealth” because he was so silent around the house when he came in late or got up early.

He was the perfect house guest who found three buddies who are living up to what would make a host family waiting list appear in the future.

Could not be more proud of the four of them, good job men.  

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