Holland & Usry August 2017

A Wave of Terror DEALING WITH OUR SON’S CONCUSSION

’ve had the chance to represent a number of clients dealing with traumatic brain injuries. While this experience has offered me the

His mother quickly realized something was wrong. Nobody panicked, but we brought him to our spot on the beach to check on him. His uncle Jay, an eye doctor, told us we needed to call a pediatrician. We headed home to give Jack a bath and assess him a little more. I knew it was serious when, during the bath, he struggled to recall the names of his twin siblings. After that, there was no doubt we were heading to the emergency room. I’m no neurologist, but I did know that we needed to keep our boy awake during the 45-minute drive to the hospital. Once there, I told the staff that we were worried about possible bleeding in his brain. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, but the doctors told us he had suffered a concussion. It’s scary stuff, but we were very fortunate. The doctors assured us he would make a full recovery. Recover he has, but it’s been a rough three weeks for him. Throughout the ensuing days and weeks, he’s been dealing with headaches, neck pain, and fatigue. When we’d go out to throw the baseball, he’d grow tired after 10 minutes, and that’s just not Jack. Normally, he’ll wear me out long before his energy slows down at all. Luckily, he was recently fully cleared by doctors. This might’ve been only a brief glimpse into the world of serious brain injuries, but it was more than scary enough for me. Watching Jack’s frustrations was hard, and I’ve learned to never take for granted the most important part of the human body. “Getting your bell rung,” is not a phrase you’ll ever hear me utter again. Brains are irreplaceable, and an injury to them is worth our fullest attention.

I

chance to learn a little bit what people going through these injuries and their loved ones have to deal with, it didn’t prepare me for the recent scare in my own household. There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as a mild surgery, unless it’s someone else’s. Well, after my boy Jack recently suffered a concussion, I can safely say the same is true of head injuries. Ever since we can remember, Jack has been an adventurous boy. When he was 3 and 4, you better believe you had to keep an eye on him at the jungle gym. If you lost him for one second, he wouldn’t be hanging from the monkey bars; he’d be on top of them. Now that he’s 9, he’s developed into quite a coordinated little athlete. We might not be able to safely say he has a future in baseball, but he definitely has a present. With all his energy and vigor, it’s ironic that Jack’s concussion was the result of following his mother’s instructions. We were at the beach with some extended family, and Jack was playing in the water with his cousin. Amy, my wife, asked him to turn around and take a few steps toward the beach, so she could get a picture. As she was about to take the shot, a huge wave crashed down, blindsiding Jack. It hit him with such force that he was upended, hitting his head on the seafloor.

I knew it was serious when, during the bath, he struggled to recall the names of his twin siblings. After that, there was no doubt we were heading to the emergency room.

–Rob Usry

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