37 : Brett Wycinski, Former College Football Player, Survivor of Second Impact Syndrome

As you might know by looking at our logo, the number 37 is special to me and I couldn’t think of a more perfect interview for the 37th episode.  This week I talk with Brett Wycinski, who like me, suffered second impact syndrome while playing football in an inter-squad scrimmage during his senior year at Walsh University.  In case you don’t know what second impact syndrome is, it happens when an athlete suffers a concussion and as a result, has post concussion symptoms, which in our case was a severe headache.  Before this symptoms resolve, the athlete suffers a second and often unremarkable blow to the head or body and receives a second concussion.  This second impact can cause massive brain swelling an hemorrhaging.  The survival rate is around 50% with the morbidity rate being around 100%.  The fact this conversation between the two of us is happening is nothing short of a miracle.  

Brett’s concussion symptoms and obstacles during recovery were nearly identical to mine.   We both hid our symptoms in an attempt to be  “tough” and this mindset is ultimately what got us both into trouble.  Our message to athletes isn’t to stop playing sports or to play scared, rather it is to be open and honest about how you are feeling because no body knows that better than you.  In this episode, you will learn why this way of thinking is also important from a mental and emotional perspective when your sport is taken away from you either temporarily or permanently. Throughout the entire episode we compare war stories and offer ideas to prevent other athletes from making the same mistake we did.

 Lastly, the Heads ‘N Tales podcast is brought to you by you. We are now selling Heads ‘N Tales trucker hats and t-shirts to help with travel and equipment costs to help us to continue to bring inspiring tales each week (pictures below). I am working on creating a shop page on the website, but in the meantime, If you enjoy the podcast and want to help out, I can coordinate the sale via email at kevin@headsntales.org or via a direct message on Instagram or Facebook.  Thanks for the support and we have some exciting educational interviews lined up, which includes a 4part series with the Mind of the Athlete Sport psychology group coming in September and another 4-part series with members from the Korey Stringer Institute on preventing sudden death in sport with an emphasis on preventing exertional heat stroke. 

Where can you Find brett?

 Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Download Episode 37 : iTunes | Stitcher