Football is a sport that is enjoyed by millions of fans and players alike. However, it is also a dangerous sport that has led to serious injuries, including paralysis and death. The movie “Concussion” attempted to bring the dangers of football-related head injuries to the forefront of public concern. When someone suffers from repeated concussive head injuries, it can lead to a condition later in life known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which leads to symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but in much younger patients. Head injuries aren’t the only thing that parents of children playing football should be concerned with, and one boy’s parents are trying to shed light on another common injury, as Good Morning America reports.
Kathy and Brian Haugen suffered every parent’s worst nightmare when their son, Taylor, died when he was just 15 years old. Taylor had been a starting wide receiver on the Niceville High School Junior Varsity Football team. During the season’s opening game, Taylor jumped up to catch a pass and was crushed between two defensive players from the opposing team.
He was hit in such a way between the two other players that his liver was essentially crushed. After discovering that this kind of injury is not uncommon among football players, the Haugens decided to create a foundation that would work to honor their son and bring attention to the issue.
The Taylor Haugen Foundation is committed to educating athletes, coaches, schools, trainers, and parents about protecting athletes from abdominal injuries. Another function of the foundation is helping to provide protective gear for athletes across the nation.