Football Friendships Save Player's Life in Near-Tragic Concussion

The Denver Post & The Denver Post op-ed

Trey Johnson is a 16-year-old boy who loved playing football.

But on Oct. 12, in a Friday-night game, Trey suffered a severe injury after falling headfirst to the ground during a tackle.

After a series of plays, Trey's close friend and teammate, Caleb Creech, noticed Trey was not acting as his usual self and prompted the head coach to have him checked out. During the assessment, Trey seemed confused, so the trainer alerted his mother.

As soon as Trey began vomiting and lost unconsciousness, his mother, Marilyn Johnson, requested an ambulance to transport him to the nearest hospital. A CT scan at the hospital revealed that Trey had bleeding on his brain, and he was airlifted to Children's Hospital Colorado.

At Children's Colorado, Trey was diagnosed with a concussion-a mild injury to the brain that temporarily disrupts how the brain normally works. With the help of Children's Colorado doctors, Trey was put on a rehabilitation routine for recovery.

Children's Colorado expert, Dr. Michael Dichiaro, who oversees Trey's care, noted that he has made great strides during his routine.

"I don't think there's any reason to say at this point he's going to slow down in his progress or that there are limits to his progress," Dichiaro said, noting that the journey back could cover months or years. "There's no reason to think he's going to stop any time soon."

However what saved Trey's life that night was a willingness of a close group of friends to look out for one another's well-being, which is exactly what happened.

Read more news coverage:

Don’t keep kids out of sports, but do what you can to prevent concussions, The Denver Post

Football team's bonds helped make difference in near-tragic concussion, The Denver Post

Platte Valley's 10-2 football team playing in Trey Johnson's honor, The Denver Post

Kersey football player on the road to recovery, 9News

Platte Valley Football Team Playing Title Game For Injured Teammate, CBS4