Easton Root was a warrior from the day he was born. At three weeks old he underwent emergency surgery to remove a choledochal cyst from his abdomen. After more than a month in Texas Childrens’ Hospital, he was released to go home. Although he showed no outward signs of illness, his liver tests continued to show cirrhosis (scarring) throughout his life.
Medical check-ups and needle pokes became routine, but he never let it stop him from what he wanted to do. He was an active toddler who loved running, throwing and catching, earning the “Sports Superstar Award” in his pre-school. He began t-ball at age four and would count the days until the next practice or game. His hand-eye coordination, focus and competitive spirit were as impressive as his determination and heart. He was known for cheering on his fellow teammates during the games, encouraging them and demonstrating good sportsmanship.
His baseball skills improved as he moved to little league coach-pitch, then to machine-pitch and eventually to kid-pitch, where he alternated between positions at short stop and pitcher. He was selected for the Little League All-Stars team every spring; he also joined the Brazos Valley Bucks select 8U baseball team in 2021. When not playing baseball, he played football, basketball and any competitive game taking place on the playground or in the school gym. He also played three seasons on College Station Soccer Club teams. His focus, agility and speed made him a team leader and frequent goal scorer.
In 2022, Easton’s liver cirrhosis had progressed to the point where he needed a liver transplant. Throughout the summer he was in and out of Texas Children’s Hospital for tests and procedures, but continued to play on the All Stars baseball team and participate in select baseball camps and tournaments. Before his last hospital admission, he tried out for a select baseball league called the Twelve, and he made the team.
On September 1, Easton went into surgery for a liver transplant at Texas Children’s Hospital. Mid-surgery, the doctors came out of the OR to give his parents the worst news imaginable—they were unable to perform the surgery due to a large amount of scar tissue in Easton’s abdomen, presumably developed from his surgery as a baby. They couldn’t remove his diseased liver to replace it with the donor liver. His organs were shutting down, and doctors told his family he would not survive. On September 3, 2022 in the early hours of the morning, Easton peacefully drew his last breath and left this world, surrounded by his loving family.
Shock and grief spread as Easton’s friends, teachers, coaches and teammates learned of his passing. The Root family received an overwhelming tide of love and offers of support and wanted to show their gratitude and honor the impact of Easton’s life. They knew his legacy would be his kind heart and passion for team sports, and hoped his story could continue to inspire and help children in the Brazos Valley. The idea to begin a 501(C)(3) non-profit called Play for Easton was born.