Eastern Illinois Article


Alex McNamee of the Daily Eastern News, the campus newspaper for Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois ran a story today about “Hank”.

Hank said he has no recollection of 12 hours before the concussion or the 12 hours after the hit during summer preseason training in August.

“You say weird things, act weird, then go to sleep,” Hank said.

But sleeping is difficult, as he lies in bed trying to count sheep but cannot get past the heartbeat in his head.

Hank is not his real name but the story chronicles his REAL story, a collegiate football player that had to end his playing career due to a concussion, or multiple concussions.

Hank said this semester of school has been by far the most difficult; however, he said a lot of the struggles might be because he has been recovering from two concussions most of the time.

“The hardest (semester) I’ve ever done and I’m taking some of the easiest classes. That’s pretty frustrating,” Hank said.

During his recovery, Hank said it was hard to concentrate on school as he was having splitting headaches all the time and not getting a lot of sleep.

A great story found by my student today, putting a human touch to the concussion issue on different levels.  McNamee does a great job of touching many topics in this area; from academics to CTE.  An amazing epiphany by Hank was that he came to grips with the fact that life is more important than football.

Although the idea of ending his career was hard to grasp, Hank decided he did not want to risk any more head injuries. The Eastern coaches helped Hank deal with the loss of such a major part in his life.

“They said football is great, but life is a whole lot better,'” Hank said.

LINK to the story at dennews.com.

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