Charleston Brain Injury attorneys want you to know that brain damage and football. The seventeen days following the Big Bone Game, a traditional Thanksgiving Day at San Jose City College versus two local high schools, are blank in Matt Blea’s memory but with the worst seventeen days of his parent’s lives. Blea was sixteen year old and playing football for his high school football team. He remembers the opening plays but the minute his helmet hit the Astroturf surface, he does not remember a thing.
Blea was in a drug-induced coma for a week to prevent traumatic brain swelling and then two months after the crushing hit. Dave Blea, Matt’s father, had an agreement with his wife that “if he was ever diagnosed with a concussion in his youth football days, he was going to be out for the year.” Blea is physically fine now, but is suffering a broken heart because his love and passion, football, is now prohibited. Matt Blea will never play football again.
The National Football League recently has been paying more attention to concussed players. The league is now implementing new restrictions affecting the amount of time a concussed player is required to wait until allowed to play again. After the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study released a figure that startled parents and players. They reported that in 2008 there were an estimated 68,000 concussions in the high school football season. Professor Dawn Comstock of Ohio State helped organize the study and stated that “ up to 60 percent of sports concussions go unreported,” so this number is most likely higher.
Studies have shown that linebackers and running backs are the most common players to receive concussions. Unfortunately, Matt Blea played both positions. If it was not for the proper and quick response of Valley Medical Center paramedics, Matt could have been the third high school player to die in 2009 from a football injury. Thanks to improved equipment and new regulations that prohibit spearing, football death tolls have decreased significantly, but one can never be too cautious when walking on the field.
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle- “Teen Upbeat After Near-Fatal Football Injury.” January 25, 2010.