Sports concussions and consequences
7 Healthcast: Sports concussions and consequences
BOSTON -- As we saw in the Stanley Cup finals with Bruins player Nathan Horton sports concussions can leave serious consequences.
Another local athlete is sharing his story in hopes of helping others realize the severity of this growing problem.
Willie Baun, 20, of Manchester-by-the-Sea suffered not one, but two concussions while playing football when he was just 13. His dad was his coach.
“I just remember the feeling of, ‘Oh my God, not again, another concussion.’” said Whitey Baun, Willie's dad and coach. “But what was really
It turns out, the concussions caused amnesia. Willie had to work hard to restore his memory and to relearn things like reading and simple math.
It turns out, the concussions caused amnesia. Willie had to work hard to restore his memory and to re-learn things like reading and simple math.
It was a frightening and emotional time for the entire family.
“My wife, she's a school teacher and she just would give him work after work after work so she would keep his brain exercised,” said Whitey.
Now, nearly seven years later, Willie is still dealing with the aftermath of those concussions.
“I still get headaches pretty much every day, five, six times a week,” said Willie.
New studies show repeated concussions on athletes can have severe consequences.
Doctor Ross Zafonte of Spaulding rehabilitation hospital explains:
“We're very worried and I think a lot of people are about the cumulative effects of multiple concussions,” said Doctor Zafonte.
Now more than ever, doctors are warning never to take a concussion lightly.
“We have a real concern with many of our young athletes and that's this tendency to just A. Want to walk it off, B. This sense that, ‘It's not gonna hurt me.’” said Doctor Zafonte.
Today, Willie is doing much better. But his family wants to send a warning to other parents, coaches and young athletes.
“The message here is not that, you know, kids shouldn't be playing these sports, I think they should, you just want to take the proper precautions,” said Whitey.
“Obviously I don't discourage football or anything. I think overall just be smart about it, and the connotation of the word concussion needs to change, it needs to become a little bit more serious,” said Willie.
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