A mother who lost her son to a brain injury during a high school football game has spoken in support of a bill that would require an objective test to determine whether to pull an athlete out of a game or practice if a concussion is suspected. Currently, a youth athlete is removed from practice or a game immediately.
Amy Stover recalls the morning of her son Chad’s last game for Tipton High.
“Before he walked out the door that day he looked at me and said, ‘mom, I think we can do this. I think we can do this. This is going to be a great game. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.’ He gave it everything, and more,” said Stover.
Stover said when her son got on the school bus, she expected him to come home.
The Brain Injury Association of Missouri is opposed to the bill. Executive Director Maureen Cunningham told lawmakers, “It is a medical decision reserved for physicians, athletic trainers and other healthcare professionals. When a concussion is suspected, protect the child. Take them out,” said Cunningham. “Don’t let them say ‘I’m okay.’ Every concussion can lead to another concussion. With every concussion, you are at greater risk of secondary concussions. With every one, the symptoms can get worse.”
The King-Devick test was one mentioned by some supporters and considered by them to be an objective test that can be conducted on the sidelines by a coach or parent. The test is similar to a flash card system. A baseline for measurement would be conducted annually.