One man's concussion story: Taylor Twellman

One man's concussion story: Taylor Twellman
February 25, 2011, 8:23 pm
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The problem of concussions in sports aren't an abstract discussion to Taylor Twellman.

"I had seven concussions -- diagnosed concussions, that is -- in my career," said the former soccer star (and leading scorer in New England Revolution history), whose career was ended due to recurring post-concussion symptoms. Twellman, who now works as a part-time host and analyst on Comcast SportsNet New England, played his last game in 2008.

MORE ON THIS STORY
THE PROBLEM: Isthere a concussion 'epidemic' in hockey? Notnecessarily
THE VICTIMS: Fromone extreme to the other: Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron
THE REACTION: Manyplayers choose not to worry about concussions

Since a concussion is an unseen injury -- no crutches, no limp, no timetable for a return -- athletes have historically been unsure how to respond to it.

"As an athlete, you're taught not to really feel pain," Twellman said. "And when you do feel pain, you're taught to ignore it or take a shot for it."

But you can't ignore it. There is no shot for it. It's an injury like no other.

"Literally, you feel sick," said Twellman. "No one can help you. There's no medicine out there that can get rid of concussions and the brain injury that I have."

Which made his play-or-not-to-play decision -- while gutwrenching -- a fairly simple one.

"When a doctor tells you, 'Taylor, do you want to live the rest of your life . . . do you want have the chance to live the rest of your life normal?', you don't really think about soccer," Twellman said.