A former All-Pro running back for the Philadelphia Eagles says he is suffers from short-term memory loss. While one might think this would be a player from the 70s or 80s, the player is actually only 33-years-old and played for the Eagles up until last year when his brain injury forced him to retire early.
Brian Westbrook says he can trace his first symptoms of memory loss to a couple concussions he suffered during his career. Westbrook, who played in the National Football League for nine years, says he often forgets names and facts, and new material splits from his memory just moments after he’s told.
Westbrook is one of several former athletes who have started a coalition to raise awareness on brain injuries. He was joined by former Philadelphia Flyers captain Keith Primeau and several other notable ex-professional athletes and brain safety advocates at the “Concussion Conundrum” this month at Villanova University.
The panel discussion addressed the long-lasting effect of brain injuries and the dangerous outcome of playing through a concussion. Primeau spoke about his history of concussions during the panel discussion. He said he had four documented concussions, says he has no idea what the actual number is after starting hockey at the age of five.
After being forced to retire after his fourth concussion in 2005, Primeau started the website stopconcussions.com in hopes that it would prevent today’s athletes from making the same mistakes he did. In one example of this, Primeau returned to the ice just five days after being carried off the ice in a stretcher after he was knocked out during a game in 2000.
It’s not just athletes who have to be careful with concussions. In fact, many concussions are suffered in car accidents or other everyday mishaps. If you have reason to believe you suffered a head injury in a car accident or another mishap, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. Follow the advice of these athletes and take concussions and head injuries seriously.
Source: Sports Illustrated, “Former stars spread awareness for head injuries,” March 15, 2013