Editorial note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins AC360 tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. Anderson will talk to him about his stunning investigation into the tragic injuries suffered by football players from hits to the head. Watch their discussion and see "Big Hits, Broken Dreams' on Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.
One day late in the summer of 2010, I was sitting in my backyard with my oldest daughter. We had just finished cutting the lawn when my neighbor and his oldest son stopped by.
His son, a football player at one of the powerhouse local high schools, had grown nearly an inch over the summer and weighed more than 200 pounds. He was already in practice for the upcoming season. He asked if I had time to speak to a friend of his who also played football and had suffered a concussion the previous season.
They were asking me in my capacity as a neurosurgeon, but also in desperation, as this young man was still having tremendous difficulty nearly a year after his injury.
Most of the patients I see in the hospital visit me at the time of their injury, and I hardly ever get to see the longer term impact of a severe concussion on an otherwise healthy young person. What he shared with me was stunning, and also formed the basis of the year long project, "Big Hits, Broken Dreams."
This young, physically robust, handsome man couldn’t remember the details of the hit in a mid-season practice that led to his concussion, but he was able to describe in awful detail how much his life had changed since.
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