American Morning

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November 23rd, 2010
09:36 AM ET

AM Series: Hard Hits – Slam leaves linebacker brain damaged for life

Seventeen-year-old Max Conradt is viciously slammed down by a 280-pound linebacker during a high school football game. He continues to play and by the end of the game, after many punishing tackles, Conradt collapses into his stepmother's arms. Underneath his helmet, Conradt's brain was swelling.

He was dying - fast.

He was in a coma for two months with a catastrophic traumatic brain injury and had three operations to relieve the pressure on his swelling brain. Max's father Ralph is coming unglued, because doctors say his son probably will not make it.

Did Max live?

In the end we find out he did, but it’s not much of a life. Max lives in a home for brain damaged adults. He will never hold down a job, he will never function independently.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells Max's story on American Morning.

Filed under: American Morning • Health • Sports
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. jesse

    unsure why my comment was not allowed to be posted? These are questions that need to be asked to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  2. Jesse

    The real question is how was this athlete allowed back on the field a week after the first concussion? Was there a ATC on staff? Did he ever see a doc after the first hit? Alot of things had to go wrong that allowed this player back on the field so early after his first episode!

    November 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  3. Dave

    This is more common than many of you believe. My son is also a TBI survivor. He was in an accident over a year ago and his short term memory is basically minutes to an hour. The repercussions of these injuries is much farther reaching than one first imagines.
    Consider never being able to learn from what you did yesterday, not being able to retain step 1 of a 5 step process... It is truly the same new day every day, over and over and over.
    As a parent I may answer the same question 30-50 times a day. Dealing with medications and limitations... You have no idea.
    Whatever can be done to prevent or treat these patients should be done.
    This is the equivalent of getting Alzheimers as a teen. The difference being that this patient will "live" another 60 years.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm |