Patchogue-Medford Class of 2013 alum Matt Vogel, who now plays baseball for University of South Carolina in his freshman year, opens up about his older brother’s 2008 car accident that changed his family’s life in a recent interview.
While speaking to The Big Spur, Vogel said that he was really close to his brother Christopher, who sustained life-threatening injuries in a July 2008 car accident. Christopher Vogel, now 26, was in a coma for months before leaving the hospital in a vegetative state, according to the report. Nicholas Luongo, Christopher’s best friend also in the car, died in the accident.
Vogel was 12-years-old at the time of the accident, and said that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to keep playing following this incident.
“When I was 13, I didn't even know if I wanted to play baseball anymore,” Vogel said in the report. “He was one of the main reasons I wanted to start. He also became a reason I wanted to stop. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to play anymore but then I decided I wanted to play for him.”
Vogel said that while his brother is now home in the room next to his, it is difficult for him to see Christopher confined to a bed or in a wheelchair unable to talk.
“I’ll go in there, talk to him and tell him how my day was sometimes but I don’t do it often,” Vogel said. “It’s hard having a friend, a brother who has been there since Day 1 and all of a sudden, you have no one to talk to. I bottle up everything because he was my number one person to talk to. There’s no one to replace him. I feel bad not going into his room much but I just can’t do it.”
Vogel does keep his brother close to his heart, literally, with a variation of a Superman tattoo with a “C” for Christopher instead of the “S” on his chest. The phrase “Forever my Superman” is above the tattoo, and below is Christopher’s nickname “Doe.”
“He’s my motivation,” Vogel said in the report. “If I’m in a hard workout, in a tough spot in a game, he’s the first thing I think of.”
Vogel has previously told his story at events such as to Longwood High School students in 2012.Click here for the original story and a Q&A with Vogel on The Big Spur.