It’s his last football game. He has to do well. There are scouts coming to see him. He needs a scholarship for school. He feels his heart pumping and his breath getting faster. The adrenaline hits him as he steps on the field. The last thing he saw was the ball. He wakes up in the hospital unaware of his circumstances. Sadly, he will never play football again.

This isn’t a real story, but it could be. Traumatic brain injury is a growing problem in the United States. TBI is “caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” TBI exists in a range like most other problems. Some of the danger signs to look for are headaches that don’t go away, weakness/decreased coordination, repeated vomiting/nausea, or slurred speech. More intense signs to look for are extreme drowsiness, convulsions, unable to recognize things/people, unusual behavior, and a loss of consciousness.

The effects TBI can have are in relation to thinking, sensation, language, and emotion. Our brains are very important. Leagues and sports in general have been more specific about concussions because they are a mild form of TBI. Repetition of this can cause neurological and cognitive issues.

It’s his last football game. He didn’t know it would be his last.