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Former Farmington baseball star faces adversity again

BANGOR, Maine - A New Hampshire father in critical condition after being involved in a serious head-on collision in Plymouth Friday has a long recovery ahead of him.

As before, during his cancer fight, Jayson Whitehouse, 26, of Alton, N.H., has the support of family, friends and those he's inspired, according to former Coach Dave P. Hoyt.

Whitehouse sustained life-threatening injuries after his Honda crossed the center line along Route 7 and struck an oncoming SUV, driven by Courtney Lacadie, 38, of Dixmont, around 11 a.m.

Members of the Penobscot County Sheriff's Office could not be reached for comment about the status of the investigation into the accident Wednesday.

Both Whitehouse, who was airlifted from the scene, and Lacadie, who suffered serious injuries, were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. He remains in critical condition; she was released from the facility, according to hospital spokeswoman.

Whitehouse's wife, Sayre, and their sons, Colby and Trey, have been visiting him as much as possible while keeping their network of friends updated.

Hoyt said Whitehouse, who's undergone five surgeries since the accident, has already started to slowly recover - a process which could take up to three years.

"Every day is a little progress," Hoyt said, adding Whitehouse is in tough shape, but is responsive.

Hoyt, who serves as director of staff and player development at USA Training Centers/USA Mavericks in Newington N.H., fondly remembers coaching Whitehouse when they both were in Rochester, N.H. and when he stopped by to practice a few years later.

Hoyt said Whitehouse had tremendous skill as a player, as a fellow teammate and as a coach in a league of 13-year-olds.

"The younger players gravitate to him," Hoyt said, adding Whitehouse brought energy and experience to the field.

Whitehouse was a three-time all-state selection who led Farmington (N.H.) High School to three baseball titles in three years while scoring 1,575 points on the basketball court with the Tigers. After graduating in 2004, Whitehouse hit .364 while playing in South Carolina with Spartanburg Methodist College.

"It was no surprise to me that the Dodgers took a chance with him as an outfielder," Hoyt said, adding Whitehouse was drafted as left fielder in the 23rd round while playing for the Quarry Dogs, a regional collegiate league.

Soon afterward, Hoyt said Whitehouse went to the doctor after experiencing head pain, which he thought was a result of bumping it. But the pain was from several tumors in his eyes, chest and arm.

In June 2005, he was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma - a rare form of non-Hodgkins cancer - but after undergoing chemotherapy, Whitehouse was cancer-free by October of that year.

"Jayson's touched a lot of folks," Hoyt said, adding perfect strangers were as supportive as people who knew him or watched him play. While Whitehouse never got to take the field with the Dodgers, Hoyt expected him to do well in the big leagues. He added the same drive will help him once again in his long recovery following the accident.


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John Quinn may be reached at jquinn@newstote.com.



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