Dylan Thomas’ coaches still don’t know which play caused his head injury.
As CNN reports, the 16-year-old from Pike County, Georgia, was playing in a football game Friday evening when he started complaining about a leg injury during the third quarter. Thomas, a high school junior, played defensive tackle for his high school team, the Pike County Pirates.
After coming out of the game, Thomas sat on the bench and talked to the team doctor and trainers about the strange feeling in his leg. He had fallen during a play and complained about numbness. His uncle told WSB-TV that “he was saying that you know he wasn’t really feeling right and that’s when his left leg and left arm went numb and he pretty much fell off the bench.”
When Thomas became incoherent and lost consciousness, officials stopped the game and called emergency personnel. The teen reportedly woke up long enough to tell Steve Fry, a first responder, “I can’t feel my body.” He then passed out again.
Last night, at the Pike County vs. Peach County football game there was a serious injury to one of Pike County High…
As Thomas was taken to the hospital, both football teams came together in the middle of the field to pray for him. After being airlifted to Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital. Thomas underwent surgery for swelling on the brain. However, the teen’s condition did not improve. On Sunday — two days after coming out of the game — Thomas died.
The teen’s death shook his school and teammates, who shared the news of Thomas’ injury on social media with the hashtag #DylanStrong. A vigil for Thomas was held on Sunday, and the community has joined together to remember him. His coach, Brad Webber, told CNN:
“He was an incredible young man with work ethic that you can’t believe. He was the heart and soul of our defense. Just great student, great family, and the sky was gonna be the limit for him.”
It was clear that the teen had suffered a head injury, but his coaches couldn’t figure out when the injury occurred. Webber told CNN they were planning to review the game footage to find out what happened.
“We’re in a constant process of evaluating the entire thing to see if we can pinpoint one area that maybe this occurred,” he said. There wasn’t anything that really stuck out.”
It saddens us to announce that we have been told that Dylan Thomas has passed away. Our hearts are broken, but our…
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) reviewed the game film looking for the source of the teen’s head trauma. However, it found nothing to indicate that an injury had occurred in the first half of the game, nor did any player or teammate report an injury prior to the fall that sent Thomas out of the game in the third quarter.
What’s more, Thomas was wearing a top-of-the-line Riddell SpeedFlex helmet that had been specially purchased for him by his father.
“Dylan’s dad took his own money and bought an NFL-quality helmet for Dylan, because he was somewhat concerned about head injuries,” Fry told CNN.
After concluding its investigation, GHSA issued a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stating that it had found no sign of negligence or specific injury in Thomas’ death:
The coaches had taken every precaution to prepare for potential injuries and went beyond the required standards when working within the concussion protocol. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dylan Thomas’ family, his coaches, his teammates and the Pike County school system and community.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has launched the Heads Up campaign for concussion awareness to help parents, coaches, and others identify and prevent head injuries. Because football isn’t the only sport in which young people get concussions, they even offer specific advice for a number of activities, from baseball and volleyball to wrestling and cheerleading.
According to the CDC, teens and children are more likely to get a concussion than adults and will take longer to recover — though every person experiences and recovers from a concussion differently.
Most of the time, a concussion is not accompanied by a loss of consciousness. Symptoms include nausea, headache, dizziness, blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, confusion, and memory issues.
If you are observing someone with a concussion, you may notice that person seems dazed, forgetful, or uncertain of the game, opponent, or score. A person with a concussion may have difficulty answering questions, may move clumsily, or may demonstrate behavior, mood or personality changes.
In rare instances, a head injury on the playing field can result in a blood clot on the brain, requiring immediate medical treatment. Call 911 immediately if a bump or blow to the body or head results in drowsiness, a worsening headache, slurred speech, numbness, decreased coordination, unusual behavior, convulsions, repeated vomiting, one pupil larger than the other, or loss of consciousness.
If you suspect an athlete has a concussion, the CDC recommends removing him or her from play immediately and not returning to the activity until after a medical evaluation. Treating a concussion requires rest — even from schoolwork, computers, and video games. The school and team should work with parents and medical professionals to monitor the student’s progress and plan a return to school and sports.