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Update: ASU Student Hurt in Frat House Accident Making Progress at Rehab Center

Natalie Jo Eaton, 18, was impaled in the neck by a sharp fragment from a golf club that splintered when another student used it to hit a football during a fraternity party.
Natalie Jo Eaton (Source: Facebook)
Natalie Jo Eaton (Source: Facebook)
 Kappa Alpha Fraternity House, 1006 University Loop East in Jonesboro,
Kappa Alpha Fraternity House, 1006 University Loop East in Jonesboro,
(Update, September 10):
(WMC Action 5 News) - Natalie Eaton took her first ride in wheelchair at the Shepherd Rehab Center in Atlanta Georgia.

Her mother says to continue praying for her.

(Update, September 9):
ATLANTA (News release) – Injured Arkansas State University student Natalie Jo Eaton, 18, of Harrisburg, Ark., was transferred today from the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for spinal cord injury rehabilitation.

Miss Eaton, a freshman student, sustained a cervical spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19 incident on the university campus. Witnesses reported that she was impaled in the neck by a sharp fragment from a golf club that splintered when another student used it to hit a football during a fraternity party.

Miss Eaton was admitted to Shepherd Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit for evaluation, care and observation. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, she will begin a rigorous rehabilitation program under the guidance of a full team of medical and rehabilitation specialists.

Shepherd Center specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury or brain injury. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is a private, not-for-profit hospital and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation.

Medical and rehabilitation teams at Shepherd Center typically include the following: an attending physician, nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech language pathologist, recreation therapist, case manager, peer support specialist, nutritionist and psychologist.

Miss Eaton and her family are appreciative for the outpouring of support from the community, but have requested privacy at this time. An account called “Friends of Natalie Eaton” has been established at Regions Bank. Donations can be made at any Regions Bank in northeast Arkansas. For bank locations, visit www.regions.com.

Update (Aug. 27)

MEMPHIS, TN -  Natalie Jo Eaton, the Arkansas State University freshman injured in a freak accident at a frat house on campus is now listed in stable condition at the Med in Memphis. 

The accident happened last week. Eaton was impaled by the shaft of a broken golf club during rush activities at the Kappa Alpha house. 

According to KAIT, a family member said her recovery will take a very long time. 

An account called “Friends of Natalie Eaton” has been established at Regions Bank. Donations can be made at any Regions Bank in Northeast Arkansas. 

Eaton’s sorority, Chi Omega, has asked people to wear blue ribbons in support. 

Update (Aug. 21):
MEMPHIS, TN - There's new information to report on the condition of an ASU student injured in a freak accident on campus Tuesday when a broken golf club became impaled in her neck.

Natalie Jo Eaton, 18, of Harrisburg, remains hospitalized in Memphis. This afternoon we learned that she is now awake and responsive but is extremely confused and doesn't yet remember the accident.

Eaton's friend, Makaleigh Riddle, said she now has feeling on both sides of her body, which she calls a miracle.

"Where the club went in, it hit her spinal cord," Riddle said. "The way doctors talked about it, it was probably paralysis. That's the best that we were looking at. It was really hard to hear. But now she's moving her arms and legs a day later. I don't know. That's just crazy. I know people are praying everywhere but that's a miracle. She's the strongest person I've ever met so that doesn't surprise me at all."

ASU Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Rick Stripling said he does not expect anyone to face any charges.

The ASU community has already started to rally behind Eaton. The Kappa Alpha fraternity reached out to her and her family on its Twitter page and the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority held a prayer vigil Tuesday night.

Riddle also held a prayer vigil Wednesday morning and wants to continue to do so every day.

Update (5:57 p.m.):
MEMPHIS, TN - According to Regional One Health in Memphis, Natalie Jo Eaton is in critical condition after a golf club impaled the left side of her neck on Tuesday night at an Arkansas State fraternity house.

Original Story (Aug. 20, 2:10 p.m.):
JONESBORO, AR - A freshman student and sorority member at Arkansas State University was severely injured Tuesday night at a fraternity house, after a golf club impaled her, according to an Arkansas State Police report.

According to ASU police, Natalie Jo Eaton, 18, of Harrisburg was taken to St. Bernard’s then a Memphis hospital after she was impaled by the shaft of a broken golf club.

It happened at the Kappa Alpha Fraternity Housein Jonesboro, just before 6 p.m.

There is no further word on Eaton's condition.

According to police, "rush" activities were taking place at the Kappa Alpha House throughout the afternoon

Officer Bill Brown stated that people were playing games outside before a cookout.

The police report stated that as people were standing around the cookout, a 19-year-old man threw a football to a 20-year-old man, who "was going to use a golf club as a bat to hit the football."

When the club hit the ball, the golf club shaft broke, and traveled around 30 feet before it impaled Eaton in the left side of her neck., according to the report.

A second person was hurt, but she told police she was okay.

A total of nine people witnessed the incident, the police report stated.

Wednesday morning, ASU Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Rick Stripling issued the following statement:

JONESBORO, AR (News release) – Arkansas State University Vice Chancellor Rick Stripling issued the following statement regarding an incident on campus last night.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Natalie Eaton. Once you are here at Arkansas State, you are part of the Red Wolves family.”

Eaton was injured on campus Tuesday evening, and transported first to a local hospital then on to Memphis.

University personnel responded immediately to the report of incident, and assisted local first responders in stabilizing the student.

Additional counselors and university staff were sent to the hospital and to the site of the accident to provide support to A-State students and the family of the injured student.

A-State student life staff members continue to monitor her situation, but cannot provide updates on her medical condition out of respect for the family’s privacy.
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