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Hope is fading for Emerson College student gravely injured in Allston altercation: ‘He will not be able to sustain life’

Daniel Hollis.Courtesy of the Hollis family/Courtesy of the Hollis Family

An Emerson College student who suffered a life-threatening head injury in a fight off campus in Allston on Saturday is not expected to regain consciousness, according to the school and his family.

Daniel Hollis, a sophomore and a member of the men’s lacrosse team, sustained brain damage, his family wrote on the website CaringBridge.org.

Emerson president Lee Pelton said in e-mail to the college community Tuesday that Hollis had undergone emergency surgery and “ . . . is currently surrounded by his loving friends and family.”

Pelton said the college is “devastated” by news of Hollis’s grave condition and “is sending thoughts and prayers to Dan, his family, and his loved ones as they endure this very difficult period.”


Hollis is a marketing communication major enrolled in the class of 2022, Pelton said.

According to the college website, Hollis is from Mendon, graduated from Hopedale Junior Senior High School, and played goalie for Emerson’s men’s lacrosse team. His jersey number is 27.

Michelle Gaseau, an Emerson spokeswoman, deferred comment to the Hollis family.

“Out of respect for the family, we are unable to offer comment beyond what has been shared publicly by Daniel Hollis’ family,” Michelle Gaseau wrote in an e-mail to the Globe.

The family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Updates on his condition have been posted on CaringBridge.org.

Law enforcement officials have not identified Hollis as the victim of the attack.

Boston police responded to a report of an assault and battery in progress at 15 Park Vale Ave. in Allston Saturday around 1:30 a.m., and a male victim was taken to the hospital, officials said.

The victim was found unconscious and bleeding from the head, police said. No other details were released, and no arrests have been made.

A spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said an intensive probe is underway.


Investigators are “ . . . working closely with the Boston Police Department as the investigation into this tragedy continues,” spokesman Matthew Brelis said in a statement.

“We offer the victim’s family our heartfelt condolences and will provide more information when, or if, it is appropriate.”

Hollis’s mother, Jen Kelly, wrote that Hollis and his friends were leaving a party and “were confronted by another group of college-aged boys.”

“Words were exchanged, pushing/shoving started, and in the scuffle, we believe Dan was hit and subsequently hit his head on cement/bricks as he fell,” she wrote. “He was brought to a local Boston hospital and was diagnosed with a blood clot on his brain requiring immediate surgery.”

Hollis was unresponsive when he arrived at the hospital and was placed in a medically induced coma, the website stated.

In her latest update, posted Monday, Kelly wrote that Hollis suffered “extensive and unrepairable damage to large sections of his brain.”

“Due to the damage to his brain stem, he will not regain consciousness,” she wrote.

“Additionally, there is damage to areas of the brain that control body functions such as breathing and his heart. He will not be able to sustain life, even with the aid of life support systems.”

Kelly wrote that the medical team will continue to keep him comfortable and pain-free, and that they will continue to post updates to the CaringBridge webpage “as Dan’s journey nears its end.”


“Please continue to keep Dan in your thoughts and prayers,” she wrote.

“We ask that you focus on the positive: his infectious smile, his goofy sense of humor, his love for music, hockey, lacrosse and most importantly his love for his friends and family.

“The positive energy is making it to him and surrounding him with love while he is still with us.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.