Marty Cordova spends his days and night at the hospital, hanging on every word from the doctors and looking for hope wherever he can find it. His 15-year-old daughter was in a car accident and has been in a coma for 11 days.
"If anybody knew her or met her for one minute, you'd realize what a sweet kid she is," said Cordova, who spent nine years in the majors and was the 1995 AL Rookie of the Year with the Minnesota Twins.
On the morning of Dec. 16, Ashley McAdam was heading to Herriman High School just outside Salt Lake City. She was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend that was hit by a truck as it pulled into school. In addition to the head trauma, she broke her jaw, elbow and thighbone.
Cordova, who lives in Las Vegas and works for a company that designs mobile applications, rushed to her side after he heard the news. He has spent the past six or seven nights in the hospital.
So far, she has been unresponsive. Cordova and Ashley's mother, Tamara McAdam-Burleigh, have set up a Facebook page titled "Supporting Ashley McAdam," where people can offer support. Friends and family have written dozens of messages and posted songs, photos and videos.
The teenage driver of the car broke her collar bone, and a passenger in the back seat needed back surgery. The truck struck the car right where Ashley was sitting.
"She's the victim of a tragic accident," Cordova said. "What I want is for people to see that this can happen to your own kids. Hug your kids, spend time with them. And pay attention when you're behind the wheel of a car. Anything can happen."
Ashley has been in intensive care since she arrived at the hospital. Doctors have told Cordova that different people respond in different ways to brain injuries. Her eyes have fluttered open in the last few days, but she is still not responding to voice commands or requests to squeeze a hand or blink an eye.
"They're hoping she'll come back 100 percent, but there's no way to tell what her brain is going to do," Cordova said. "There's no magic shot. There's no surgery to help. Only time can tell."
Her Facebook page includes a link where those interested can make a donation to help with what Cordova expects will be a massive medical bill.
Cordova broke into the big leagues with the Twins in 1995, hitting .277 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs. He drove in 111 runs the following year and also played with the Blue Jays, Indians and Orioles before his career ended in 2003.
Cordova said Ashley often would accompany him to the ballpark as a youngster, though he wishes he could have spent more time with her during a baseball career that required so much travel and moving.Comment on this story
He returned to his hometown of Las Vegas after retirement and is working for Bent Pixels, which has partnerships with the UFC and other companies to develop mobile applications. He travels to UFC events, and said Ashley often went with him to the fights.
"She's the perfect kid," he said. "This sounds so cheesy. She doesn't even cuss. She doesn't do anything wrong. She's a sweet kid with a great personality.
"She's a little shy. She's getting a lot of attention now and she just doesn't know it yet. There's really a lot of people are touched by the fact she's just a sweet kid."
Donation page: apps.facebook.com