Derek Curran would rather be on the football field than in a hospital room. He'd much rather be going through daily football drills instead of family therapy.
"If I could play, heck yea I'd throw on a helmet and shoulder pads in 10 seconds and get out there and play," he said.
But his high school football career and his dreams of playing college football have been sidelined for good as a result of a concussion -- a brain injury that he doesn't even remember happening.
"I remember playing the game. I remember the whole day. I remember a couple plays in the game, after that I don't remember for about a week," he said.
In October, Curran suffered a seizure, collapsed and lost consciousness -- all while he stood on the sidelines.
"We can't find the hit on film where I got hit or knocked out.. can't find a hard hit on film, so what we think is possibly I was hit during practice really hard and actually had a concussion and then got hit just right or hard enough during the game which is what sent me into seizures," he said.
"He was unable to stand or walk on his own," said Dr. Javier Cardenas, who has been overseeing Derek's recovery.
"Many times in football, especially when there's a pile of players you don't always see that hit or recognize that there's been a hit to the head, so it often can be missed."
Dr. Cardenas says educating student athletes about the symptoms of concussions is key to avoiding serious injuries.
"If you feel you got hit or bell got rung, make sure you let someone know because that might have happened to 'em in the week and this is where I am now," said Curran.
Doctors say the kind of concussion Derek suffered could have resulted in death. So while he'll have to spend Thanksgiving in a hospital, he's just thankful he'll be around to celebrate the holiday.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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