Saturday, December 05, 2009

SJ Mercury News Column on High School Football Player Matt Blea

Since I heard the day after Thanksgiving about the life-threatening fractured skull suffered by San Jose High Academy football player Matt Blea, I've followed the news with hopes of his getting better... and thankfully he now has.

My interest in the story is I'm sure heightened by now having two children, but also by the freakish nature of the injury itself. In the violent game of football, Blea was hurt on a clean play that frankly could have occurred while playing hockey, soccer, or just running around in the grass.

With this in mind, I found myself drawn to the Mark Purdy San Jose Mercury News piece "Fear of injury nags all parents of prep athletes" last Friday. In his column Purdy echos my thoughts about how this was something that couldn't really be prevented and also gives his perspective as a parent whose kids played high school sports. While they did have injuries, certainly none of the cataclysmic variety that landed Blea in a medically induced coma for a week. Pretty insightful writing that makes one think.

To the "thankfully he has gotten better" note I made, this morning's Mercury News had the story "Injured high school football player's condition improves." Head injuries leave a big unknown question as to recovery, but things are definitely better than could have been the case and hopefully will continue to look up.

I thought at the time I heard of the injury and still do think it strange that the game continued, but I guess it's hard to know how situations like that should be handled unless you're actually in it. The hope now would be both for the continued improvement of Blea and that between private insurance, coverage from the school district and private donations, the financial impact of his recovery and care isn't debilitating to the family. At this time, though, I would imagine everyone is just happy that he's doing as well as he is.