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 (1,953 Responses)
  1. 토토사이트

    Saved as a favorite, I like your site!


    May 15, 2021 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Seo Marketing Business

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 15, 2021 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. oc towing mission viejo

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!


    May 15, 2021 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. brimonidine

    buy generic brimonidine brimonidine

    May 15, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 먹튀검증사이트

    After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service? Kudos!


    May 15, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Internet Marketing Jobs San Clemente


    May 15, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. aika online private server download

    This is the perfect webpage for anybody who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 16, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Internet Marketing Tustin


    May 16, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Aika Skill Simulator


    May 16, 2021 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. how to play on private aika server


    May 16, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. combigan

    brimonidine how it works brimonidine how it works

    May 16, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Digital Marketing Agency Irvine

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I'll forward this post to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    May 16, 2021 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Internet Marketing Agency Near Me

    I used to be able to find good advice from your blog articles.


    May 16, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Seo Marketing Service


    May 16, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Local Marketing Company

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I really believed you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    May 16, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Digital Marketing Agency Irvine

    You are so interesting! I don't believe I have read through a single thing like this before. So great to find another person with some original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 16, 2021 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Internet Marketing Job

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely believed you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    May 16, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. aitan arena aika private server

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    May 16, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. avanafil

    buy avanafil canada avanafil pill

    May 16, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mercedes Sprinter Brake Caliper Repair Kit


    May 16, 2021 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 사설토토

    I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my own website and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Cheers!


    May 16, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Repair Sprinter Freightliner

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to find somebody who actually knows what they are talking about over the internet. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people ought to look at this and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you aren't more popular since you certainly possess the gift.


    May 16, 2021 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Van Repair Shops Near Me

    You're so cool! I do not suppose I have read through anything like this before. So nice to discover another person with a few original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that's needed on the web, someone with a little originality!


    May 16, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Chryslers Tc By Maserati

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    May 16, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Dodge Sprinter Vacuum Pump Repair

    Can I simply just say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what they are discussing on the internet. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people have to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular since you most certainly have the gift.


    May 16, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Dodge Sprinter Van Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Roof Mounted A/C Leak Repair On Sprinter Van

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously feel this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!


    May 17, 2021 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 2006 Sprinter 3500 Repair Near Me

    Can I just say what a comfort to discover a person that really knows what they are discussing on the internet. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you're not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.


    May 17, 2021 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Maserati A6Gcs/53 Pininfarina Berlinetta


    May 17, 2021 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 먹튀검증

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 17, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sprinter Van Side Repair Price

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 17, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. theme house flags

    Hurrah! At last I got a website from where I be capable of genuinely get valuable facts concerning my study and knowledge.

    May 17, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sprinter Seat Fabric Repair

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I truly believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    May 17, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Alternator Mercedes Sprinter 2016 Repair

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.


    May 17, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Eddy Maserati

    Excellent post. I will be experiencing many of these issues as well..


    May 17, 2021 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sprinter Window Regulator Repair

    You're so interesting! I don't think I've truly read something like this before. So nice to find someone with original thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that's needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    May 17, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 2019 Maserati Quattroporte Configurations


    May 17, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Sprinter Repair Codes


    May 17, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Maserati Dealership Michigan


    May 17, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. geico painting commercial


    May 17, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. collision experts fargo

    After going over a handful of the blog articles on your website, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and let me know your opinion.


    May 17, 2021 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Furniture Orange County

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉


    May 17, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 먹튀검증

    Hi there! I just would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great info you've got right here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.


    May 17, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Maserati Ghibli S Q4 0-60

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    May 17, 2021 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 먹튀

    Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 17, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. how to repair rv plumbing

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly thought you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    May 18, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 먹튀검증

    I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    May 18, 2021 at 04:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rv wrap vs paint

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.


    May 18, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Best CBD Lube

    Just bookmarked this post as I have actually found it fairly practical.


    May 18, 2021 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. air conditioning repair parts near me


    May 18, 2021 at 16:43 | 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 35 36 37 38 39

Leave a Reply to 경주출장마사지


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.

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.