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Emerson student injured in altercation early Saturday will not regain consciousness, doctors said

The incident remains under investigation by Boston police.

An Emerson College sophomore injured in an altercation early Saturday morning is not expected to survive, according to his family.

Dan Hollis was leaving a party with friends when the altercation started, and it is believed he was struck during the incident and hit his head as he fell. Now, medical professionals say he will not regain consciousness due to brain damage.

Boston police told Boston.com that they responded to an assault in progress around 1:30 a.m. Saturday on Park Vale Avenue near the Allston-Brighton line. The incident remains under investigation and no arrests have been made. 

Hollis’s family set up a CaringBridge site to help keep family and friends aware of his condition. Hollis was studying marketing communications, and also played on the men’s lacrosse team at Emerson, the site says.


The most recent update on Hollis’s condition, posted by his mother, Jen Kelly, on Monday, indicates that “the latest scans show extensive and unrepairable damage to large sections of his brain.”

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

In earlier updates, Kelly had said that Hollis underwent surgery for a blood clot to his brain, and that the amount of damage to his brain was not immediately clear. He was placed in a medically induced coma. One update from Sunday indicated that Hollis’s nurses were “impressed” by his progress.

Kelly noted in the latest update that she and Hollis’s immediate family are awaiting the arrival of other family members, and medical staff are working to maintain his comfort.

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


Emerson College President Lee Pelton released a letter to the community about Hollis on Tuesday.

“The College is devastated by this news and is sending thoughts and prayers to Dan, his family, and his loved ones as they endure this very difficult period,” he wrote.