ERIC PELLY, 18, a football, rugby and hockey player with North Allegheny High School in Pittsburgh, PA, died on 10/10/06 and a post-mortem examination of his brain revealed CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease. Symptoms of the disease in living people include memory loss, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and dementia—and sometimes paranoia. (Dementia is a medical condition in which one loses language skills, spatial and thinking abilities, social discretion, and the ability to learn new information.) Pelly had 3 documented concussions over 3 years (one per season), 2 from football and one from rugby, the last of which caused him to collapse, holding his head and groaning in pain. He was rushed to the hospital and remained there for 2 days, and was released on the third day with the restriction of “no contact sports for 3 months.” A week later while sitting down to dinner with his family, Pelly’s body stiffened with clenched fists, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he collapsed while making horrible sounds. His family performed CPR and he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. His brain had swollen and herniated, cutting off his breathing and heart rate. It turns out that Pelly had sustained a head injury from a hard hit 2 weeks earlier, of which his parents were unaware. He’d been removed from a rugby match, given ice to apply to his head, and slept the whole 4.5 hour drive home from Baltimore to Pittsburgh. He did not tell his parents about the incident, and it was only after his death that Pelly’s teammates revealed it to his parents.—“Eric Pelly”, Sports Legacy Institute, his mother. “League of Denial”, PBS Frontline 10/8/13, based on the book of the same name by Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru. “Let’s all pitch in to combat dementia”, SF Chronicle 9/18/14, Dr. Catherine A. Madison.
Watch the following VIDEO from YouTube: Eric Pelly~Rest in Peace