I was eight months old when my chubby little body broke its strongest bone. Being my outgoing, curious self I was beginning to become more and more comfortable with the edges of my parents bed. With my brother not paying attention, I decided to test my knowledge of life. The result of me falling to the ground is captured in photographs, a chubby kid with a groin high blue cast, sitting on top of the same bed.
On February 8, 2016, throughout an extremely aggressive basketball game, my life drastically changed. After three strenuous quarters, my team was losing by five points and needed a miraculous win over our opponent. One of my teammates stole the ball from our rival and made a prolonged pass across the court during the last six minutes of the competition. As my feet left the ground in hopes of completing the play, a heartless player from the opposite team intentionally charged my body with an intense force causing me to land on my right knee in an absurd manner. Consequently, the healthy athlete that I was, became someone unable to walk or get herself up off the court.
Everyone has a memory that they could remember vividly, whether it be the best day in their life, or a wedding. My memory, involves none of that. Instead, it involves a lot of pain. Breaking my wrist for the first time, still haunts me to the this very day. I still can feel it after the incident occurred in early 2008.
A time I had to overcome adversity in my life was when I became injured during the middle of cheer tryouts. At the time I was very passionate about competitive cheer, and my goal was to make the junior five team. When I got to tryouts everyone was tumbling, stunting and doing the dance routine. My adrenaline was pumping as I went to warm up my tumbling and throw a roundoff, back handspring, layout. I was determined to accomplish this for tryouts and impress my coach, but I was still very nervous. As I was running into the roundoff back handspring, I knew something was bound to go wrong. The next thing I knew I was in the middle of the air and suddenly landed on my knees, with my ankle twisted under me. My face got bright
The first concussion I had was in late May of 2016. It was at a memorial soccer tournament. Our team was not good. We tied our first game and lost our second. So really, there was no chance at all to go the finals. The last game which was around noon on that Sunday. We had a goal lead from a goal I had scored earlier in the game and coach wanted me to play defense so we wouldn't give up a equalizer. It was about 5 minutes left in the game and the other team’s goalkeeper had just punted the ball. Me and a forward for the other team both went up to get a head on the ball. When I went up the back of the kid’s head collided with mine. I right after went onto the ground and covered my nose because that also had started to bleed.
I was always an active person from being in sports to hanging out with friends. I always had something planned, or came up with something on the fly. My junior year in high school was a very tough time for me. I was involved in a lot of activities, organizations, and clubs. I was very active in one organization where I had to be up at school every morning at 7:15 for that meeting. Meaning I would not leave school sometimes until 6:45 to 7:00 in the evening. On the weekends I would have something to do either with friends or family. I would never go a weekend with nothing to do. Either I was out running errands or at the mall buying some new clothes.
I had been cringing about day for so long. I was completely terrified to go into that room. As the door opened I was exposed to a cold draft and I could feel the dense air. The day I was told this needed to be done was horrifying, and now it’s actually happening. They rolled me over to a new bed and I looked around seeing doctors everywhere. There was a table that they rolled next to me and on it was things that I can’t even explain. They put a green mask on me with tubes going through both sides of it. They told me I’d get drowsy and all of the sudden I closed my eyes and it was happening. I was getting knee surgery.
I never wanted to be on the team in the first place, but it turned out to be a really fun but terrifying experience. Some concussions can make you forget things, and make you feel sick, but I will never forget what happened when I got my first two concussions in a matter of three weeks.
Today is the first football game in my high school career. I am beyond excited so the school day goes by very fast. I then go into the locker room where I meet many of my teammates who are very excited. They all are saying, “ What day is it?! Gameday!” Today we play the De La Salle Spartans who are a respected program in the football community. It is now time for warm ups and me being the punter of my team I go out early for warm ups. I then warm up my leg and after I do that, the team comes out and I join them for warm ups. Finally, it is game time, the moment I have been waiting for all summer. Our team wins the toss so as the starting tight end for my team I go out with the offense for our first drive. We end up going three and out so I have to
Three concussions. Five months. The hardest hit to my life so far was me being hit. The physical pain of headaches, the mental pain of the slower brain processes, and the emotional pain of losing the ability of playing the sport that I love so dearly, have all affected life in many aspects. I was removed from sports, dance, school, and even at times I felt like I was removed from my own body.
Three concussions. Five months. The hardest hit to my life so far, was me being hit. The physical pain of headaches, the mental pain of slower brain process, and the emotion pain of losing the ability of playing the sport that I love so dearly, has affected life in all aspects. I was removed from sports, dance, school, and even at times I felt like I was removed from my own body.
It is time to speak about my injury that happened about two years ago. A lot of people nowadays ask me almost every day “Deshaun why don’t you play football for the M state Fergus Falls Spartans? “ and I tell them I didn’t get all of my football equipment in time, so the coach didn’t let me play, but in reality, I can’t play because I have a very bad back injury. So now for the people that are curious about what happened to my back here is my story from the beginning to the end.
My friends and I were Pokemon go hunting and I caught a lip of the concrete. I was at the courthouse with Daniel Ace Miguel and we were playing Pokemon Go.
Over the past four years, I have seen more doctors than an average person will see in a lifetime. From endocrinologists to neurologist, I have tirelessly sought medical treatment for multiple brain injuries I incurred at a young age. Through my personal struggle, I learned that there is limited treatment for concussions and traumatic brain injuries in the state of New Mexico. It has become apparent that there is a lack of treatment not only for brain related issues, but for all health issues in the state of New Mexico, especially in rural communities such as mine.