Thomas Bottiglieri made a decision to give up football and pursue his career of choice, medicine, after multiple concussions. Now living and practicing in Englewood, New Jersey, Bottiglieri has become one of the most respected concussion specialists in the area.
He was one of those kids who suffered debilitating symptoms but kept them to himself to stay on the field. He hid them until he could no longer play or study.
Even after quitting football in 1996, he nearly lost the opportunity to become a doctor. His academic struggles were so serious that his adviser suggested that he change his major.
“I just went into this major funk, depression. And I started flunking classes, which is something I had not experienced in my whole life,” said Bottiglieri, who also serves as team doctor for several North Jersey high schools.
“I remember the depression being the worst part of it. There was no highs, it was all just very, very low. Not only was my sport taken away, but I had a headache everyday. I couldn’t pass my classes. No one could understand what was happening to me.”
I can only imagine how hard it was to spell his name after concussions.