home
RSS
January 26th, 2012
09:18 AM ET

Gupta on where 'Big Hits, Broken Dreams' began

Watch "Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: Big Hits, Broken Dreams" Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

One day late in the summer of 2010, I was sitting in my backyard with my oldest daughter. We had just finished cutting the lawn when my neighbor and his oldest son stopped by.

His son, a football player at one of the powerhouse local high schools, had grown nearly an inch over the summer and weighed more than 200 pounds. He was already in practice for the upcoming season. He asked if I had time to speak to a friend of his who also played football and had suffered a concussion the previous season.

They were asking me in my capacity as a neurosurgeon, but also in desperation, as this young man was still having tremendous difficulty nearly a year after his injury.

Most of the patients I see in the hospital visit me at the time of their injury, and I hardly ever get to see the longer term impact of a severe concussion on an otherwise healthy young person. What he shared with me was stunning, and also formed the basis of the year long project, "Big Hits, Broken Dreams."

This young, physically robust, handsome man couldn’t remember the details of the hit in a mid-season practice that led to his concussion, but he was able to describe in awful detail how much his life had changed since. Once a nearly 4.0 student, his grades had dropped to “mainly Cs,” he told me. His memory was affected, and even during our discussion I could tell that his ability to retrieve words spontaneously had been impacted.

“The headaches are the worst,” he said, and no one had been able to help him.

Doctors had recommended everything from hyperbaric therapy to cervical spine surgery, as well as a laundry list of medications. In short, there were no good answers or solutions.

“Tincture of time,” was the common refrain he heard, and with post concussive syndrome or PCS – most times that is all medicine can legitimately offer. Near the end of our conversation, the dad in me came out as I asked him: “Do you have any regrets about playing football?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Not at all,” he quickly answered.

If baseball is our national pastime, then football is our national passion. And, I love football as much as anyone. Over the last year, however, I have learned there are ways to play football more safely, and still have football be... football. There are ways to play football more safely, and still win.

Whether it is the mandatory presence of athletic trainers who can diagnose concussions and are empowered to sit a player out, or it is fewer practices with full gear and repeated drills involving hits to the head - there are so many simple things that can be done to preserve the game, and the men who play it.

The young man in my backyard was just a teenager, but based on national statistics had been averaging 650 hits to his head every season he had been playing football.

Fortunately, none of them led to the most catastrophic outcome of death, usually due to second impact syndrome - a second concussion before the brain had healed from the first. Unfortunately, however, he was neurologically impacted, and there was no end of his misery in sight.

I offered as much advice as I could, but also promised to tell the story of players like him, and the latest science to try to reduce these tragic situations. If you are a player, a parent or a participant in the fanfare of football, I hope you get a chance to see "Big Hits, Broken Dreams."


soundoff (1,692 Responses)
  1. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thanks for supplying these details.

    http://asynclabs.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvluxurycoaches.com

    June 22, 2021 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. business coach

    http://closertospace.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=mastermindformen.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this info.

    http://www.domzy.com/www.rvmarketingexperts.com

    June 22, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. success group

    https://customsexpert.ru/out.php?link=http://mastermindofmen.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 07:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 출장안마

    This site truly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    https://www.unitedbookmarkings.win/chuljang-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

    June 22, 2021 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sprinter Calliper Repair

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    http://dmbcommercial.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=campervanrepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 2003 Sprinter Ac Repair

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    http://www.cnainterpreta.it/redirect.asp?url=http://commercialvanrepairshop.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. online financial training

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you postÖ

    http://k2global.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=mastermindofmen.com

    June 22, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 케이출장

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    http://xoxi.ru/user/casino4c0kubwh869

    June 22, 2021 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 케이출장

    Good information. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!

    http://home4dsi.com/chat/redirect.php?url=https://k-anma.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 케이출장

    You are so awesome! I don't think I've read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

    https://kip54.ru/user/casino5f0abxvc107

    June 22, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 홈마사지

    excellent issues altogether, you simply won a logo new reader.
    What could you recommend about your publish that you simply made a few days ago?
    Any positive?

    June 22, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 토토사이트

    This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate infoÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

    https://worldsim.club/member.php?action=profile&uid=6713

    June 22, 2021 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 출장

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed too.

    http://on.urface.net/member.php?action=profile&uid=250460

    June 22, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Windshield Repair Near Me

    Good day! I just would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have got here on this post. I will be returning to your site for more soon.

    http://peak.mn/banners/rd/25?url=http://ocrv.us/

    June 22, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pharmacepticacom

    erectile ring walmart https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 먹튀검증

    I like reading through a post that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    https://devpost.com/linkmahmood258573

    June 22, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. personal injury attorney

    My brother suggested I might like this website.
    He was totally right. This post truly made
    my day. You cann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for
    this information! Thanks!

    Review my homepage :: personal injury attorney

    June 22, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. pharmaceptica

    chloroquine and plaquenil https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Rust Repair Sprinter

    http://www.portal.ucmeradi.sk/redir.php?url=https://ocrvfleetservices.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 출장마사지

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always useful to read content from other writers and use something from their websites.

    http://massage5sarrecgsff.yousher.com/where-to-find-guest-blogging-opportunities-on-chuljang

    June 22, 2021 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 케이출장

    Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and don't manage to get anything done.

    http://kikuya-rental.com/bbs/jump.php?url=https://k-anma.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    http://dablx.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Digital Marketing Specialists

    After looking into a handful of the articles on your web page, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and tell me what you think.

    http://classyreaders.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 22, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Leave a Reply to zithromax buy


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.