|Friday Night Lights|
Real life high school football is different. Real life football high school is deadly.
The thing is I know those boys' names.
Their families are part of the community. Their high schools were within walking distances of our former home. Two young men needlessly suffered nearly fatal brain injuries that have taken away their futures.
Here is what happened:
Vu's injury happened in 1992, and Scott's in 2007. Both had had untreated concussions the week before the game, and were told to "lie down for a while".
Both were sent into the game despite their clearly expressed information that they had excruciating headaches. Scott even told the trainer that his vision was blurry and he couldn't focus his eyes. He came off the field and told the trainer again that he was dizzy, his head was throbbing.
The coach said some inappropriate words that sent Scott back onto the field.
|Many years later..|
Doctors have confirmed that if they had been treated and allowed to heal after the first concussion, the catastrophic injury would be a non-issue. "Second-impact syndrome" is the term used.
Vu was down in the first play. His eyes rolled back into his head and he stopped breathing. He died twice on the field, was resuscitated, then died again in the ambulance.
Immediate surgery to remove a part of his skull and repair injury to the brain saved his life.
Scott collapsed on the field in the first quarter, and immediately suffered catastrophic brain injury. He, too, had the same surgery in which a portion of the skull had to be removed.
Both were comatose for a lengthy time. Vu awoke, and spent years in 24 hour care initially, then years in physical recovery.
Scott eventually became conscious, but remains unable to speak and to stand or move on his own. His mind is keen and alert, communicating on iPad or computer with someone supporting his arm. His health is improving and he has finished requirements to graduate from high school.
Recent lawsuits have been settled. Vu was award about $4 million, and Scott about the same. Due to lengthy treatments involving full time care, Vu is virtually broke. He owns yoga studio with his wife.
|Scott and Vu, now|
His injury has also taken nearly all, and his loving family cares for what Voice of San Diego calls "a living ghost".
I am passionate and angry about these two young men and how denial of concussion problems continue to plague the entire football industry.
|This is what CTE is.|
This post is way too long, I know.
When some 17 yr. kids go through hell because coaches want to demolish the other teams, people must amass a fury so large and so loud that football stadiums explode.
All sports that involve player impact are susceptible and at risk for such injuries. Head helmets are inadequately designed or built to prevent or reduce injuries.
However some sports analyzers have seen an increase in injuries since football helmets have been introduced into games. They insist that, if helmets were taken out of the game, players would follow the natural response to protect the head. Hits would be less violent, focus would be on the play, not the bludgeoning. They might be on the right track.
At least this ends on a short, kinda cute commercial. It also shows how young a commitment to the game begins.