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Missouri residents, social media users support teen with TBI

Across the nation, safety experts have been discussing the need to better protect the minds of high school, college and professional athletes. Researchers have found that repetitive concussions and even singular severe trauma to the head can cause significant damage to the brain.

Former National Football League players even filed a lawsuit after having been diagnosed with the degenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE years after the initial damage occurred. The seriousness of this issue recently hit home after a Missouri high school football player suffered a serious brain injury.

The teen is a junior at Tipton High School. He was participating in the playoff game on Oct. 31 when he suffered the traumatic brain injury. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was listed in critical condition and remained that way until at least Nov. 8 when the story was updated by The Kansas City Star.

The details concerning his case were limited, but what was clear was that the town of 3,200 residents wants to see him recover. Not only did the town itself show its support by wearing colored ribbons, but those ribbons have also made their way to neighboring towns and exploded on social media.

Immediate support and help is wonderful in cases such as this one, but that support can’t last forever. In some cases, a traumatic brain injury suffered early in life will have affects well into the future. Remember the NFL lawsuit? An injury of this type can and often does prevent an individual from being able to earn a living as they would have absent the injury.

In these cases, the Supplemental Security Income program can help provide benefits in cases in which a disability may result. The program works much like the Social Security Disability Insurance program, with a major difference being that it isn’t based on work history. A similarity between the two is the complexity of the application process, which is why in these instances, assistance from an attorney can make a difference.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “Missouri towns rally around injured football player,” Nov. 8, 2013

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