Brain Healing & Brain Health Info

The website linked below has a wealth of information on methods for healing the brain and keeping it healthy.  There is much useful info on how the brain functions, what happens when it is injured, and how to restore it to a healthy state.  Nutrition, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and chiropractic neurology are explained in understandable detail.  There are videos also.  The website and foundation of the same name were started by Darren and Jill Cde Baca, whose son Brett sustained 2 concussions and struggled with symptoms for more than 6 months before being healed (search for his story on this website under Brett Cde Baca).

Daniel Brett

DANIEL BRETT, 16, junior varsity linebacker with Cypress Bay HS (FL), committed suicide on 5/14/11 after being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and suffering from ‘migraine-type headaches’ and depression.  He began playing football at 11 and never complained and never told anyone when he was hurt until August 24, 2009.  “Coach, I can’t see,” Daniel finally confessed and later acknowledged he had been hit head-on and taken quite a few blows that left him seeing stars.  Brett regularly saw a neurologist, was on anti-seizure/migraine medication, visited a chiropractor, and even tried acupuncture.  Nothing helped his chronic headaches, growing depression, sluggishness, and apathy.  His value judgments and behaviors deteriorated as he tried in vain to alleviate his pain through self-medication.  Psychiatrists at one hospital prescribed anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications geared to treat his depression, but they, just like all the numerous well-intentioned medical professionals in Broward County, never followed a process to also treat his injured brain.  Doctors from the University of Miami’s Concussion Program said that Brett had suffered multiple concussions.  He was an amazing young man with a kind heart, a love for life, music, friends and family, and a zest for football.  From March to May 2011, Brett’s quality of life improved greatly due to the correct diagnoses and treatment by the doctors at the University of Miami’s Concussion Program.  But it was too late.  Brett was not found to have CTE, but did have in his brain tissue an abnormal build-up of tau protein, which is found in brains with CTE.  In 2011 Brett’s family incorporated The Daniel Brett Foundation, Inc. as a non-profit 501 (3) (c) organization and worked to get Florida’s Concussion Law passed in April 2012, which was dedicated to Daniel.–“Daniel Brett’s Legacy Donor Page”, Sports Legacy Institute, Diana Pilar Brett, Daniel’s mother.

Diana Pilar Brett
The Daniel Brett Foundation, Inc.
A 501 (3) (c) Organization to Promote Concussion Awareness  (5K Run/Walk Web site)
(954) 336-1320

Rick Vida Jr

RICK VIDA Jr, 14, freshman with Frankton HS (IN), collapsed after practice on 8/23/83 and died soon afterward.  The Madison County Coroner, John Noffze, said that the player’s heart was nearly 3 times its normal size when he died.–“PLAYER DIED OF ENLARGED HEART”, NY Times 8/25/83.

Michael Barbieri

MICHAEL BARBIERI, 16, junior with North Shore HS in Long Island, NY, collapsed and died at football practice on 8/23/83 of an abnormally enlarged heart.  Such a condition would be detected by X-ray or an EKG but would not necessarily be evident from a routine examination with a stethoscope, according to medical authorities.  A Nassau County medical examiner said Barbieri should have never played.  Barbieri, who had never before tried out for the school’s football team, received a preseason examination about two weeks prior, according to Murray Hoffinger, assistant superintendent of the North Shore schools. ”It’s a routine physical with a stethoscope,” said Hoffinger.  “There is no X-ray or EKG.  I don’t know of any school that does anything beyond the stethoscope.”–“PLAYER DIED OF ENLARGED HEART”, NY Times 8/25/83.


IHSA Asks for Dismissal of Lawsuit

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA), the nation’s first prep sports governing body to face a class-action concussions lawsuit, has asked an Illinois judge to dismiss the suit, arguing that if it prevails, it could kill football programs statewide.  In a 16-page motion filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the IHSA says it and its 800 member schools have been proactive about improving head-injury management for the 50,000 football players they oversee each year.  The filing echoes IHSA director Marty Hickman’s previous comments to reporters that court-imposed mandates could make football prohibitively expensive for poorer schools, especially Chicago’s public high schools, and lead to “haves and have-nots” in the sport.  Plaintiff attorney Joseph Siprut has said improving safety should help football survive, not lead to its demise.  He said football is already in jeopardy because parents fearful of concussions are refusing to let their kids play, potentially drying up the talent pool. The lawsuit doesn’t seek monetary damages.  In addition to court oversight, it seeks requirements that medical personnel be present at all games and practices, among other mandates.  It also calls for the IHSA to pay for medical testing of former high school football players extending back to 2002.  The lead plaintiff in the initial suit was Daniel Bukal, an ex-quarterback at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles.  He was replaced in the amended suit by Alex Pierscionek, a former South Elgin High School lineman.  Pierscionek alleges he still suffers memory loss from concussions he received playing at the suburban Chicago school from 2010 to 2014.  The suit is filed as a class-action, but the court has not yet approved that status.–“Illinois group says concussions lawsuit ‘threatens’ football”, from AP, 4/13/15.

Cooper Manning

COOPER MANNING, 41, all-state wide receiver with Isidore Newman School (LA), 1991, began summer practice at Ole Miss when he started to experience numbness in his hands and fingers and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column.  According to the Mayo Clinic, the injury places pressure on a person’s spinal cord and the nerves that control movement throughout the spine.  Because of the spinal stenosis, the wrong hit could have left Cooper paralyzed or even worse.  He was 18 at the time of his diagnosis, and though he’d caught many passes from younger brother Peyton in high school, he never received a pass in college.  Cooper’s gone on to be a successful energy broker.–“Cooper Manning’s Injury, Aftermath Play Central Role in ESPN’s ‘Book of Manning'”, 9/25/13, Tyler Conway.

Rick Luciano

RICK LUCIANO, 17, senior with Fulton HS (NY), complained of chest pains during the fourth quarter of a game in North Syracuse in 1977 and was checked by a paramedic at the game.  He was released to his family and transported to an area hospital, where he was stricken and died.– 3/16/15.

Torrance Wright Jr

TORRANCE WRIGHT Jr, 17, lineman with Franklin HS (NY), collapsed and died during a 4-team scrimmage in Livonia the week before the start of the 1999 season.– 3/16/15.

Fernando Guedes

FERNANDO GUEDES, 17, a 2-way junior varsity player with Yonkers HS (NY), collapsed and died of heart failure during the season’s opening game at Scarsdale on 9/24/83.  He had an enlarged heart and aortic valve damage.  Guedes, a slow learner who had been in and out of foster homes much of his life, wanted to be a football hero more than anything else in the world.  So he ignored the advice doctors had been giving him for years and lied to school officials about his long history of heart trouble.  And to hide a foot-long surgical scar on his chest, he never took off his T-shirt in the locker room.  In a drawer, at home, he kept a paperback, ”How to Be a Football Star,” and he thought it had all come true when he won a starting position on both the offensive and defensive squads.  Located in a poor school district, the Yonkers football program was in upheaval and underfunded and poorly monitored.  Guedes never submitted a signed parental permission slip, was not examined by a physician, and was on a list of ineligible players submitted by a nurse to the coach.  At the game a Scarsdale school physician, knowing nothing about the youth’s heart problems, said he spent the seven to eight minutes before the ambulance arrived treating Guedes for a head injury.  There was no heart defibrillator at the field or in the volunteer ambulance.  His mother, Hilda, a Brazilian immigrant, said she wanted to perform certain rituals on the body, including anointing it with holy water and closing the eyes herself. The rituals, popular in Latin America, mix Catholic and ancient African practices. When she was told the autopsy would prevent this, she became angry. ”I think Freddie fainted good and they did autop and killed him,” she said.  A month before Guedes died, Michael Barbieri, a student at North Shore High on Long Island collapsed and died of heart failure during football practice.–“SYSTEM FAILS AND A PLAYER DIES ON FIELD”, 11/22/83, Michael Winerip.

James Arline

JAMES ARLINE, 17, senior linebacker with Newburgh Free Academy, fell ill shortly after an October 1992 road game and died of a stroke.  It was uncertain whether it was related to a blow suffered in the game.– 3/16/15.