In the fall of 2007, Kevin Saum, a graduate of the West Morris Central High School's class of 2008, suffered a specific type of traumatic brain injury while playing football called "Second Impact Syndrome (SIS)." SIS is a generally fatal, and often debilitating brain injury. SIS occurs when an athlete sustains an initial head injury and then suffers from a second head injury before the symptoms associated with the first head injury have cleared.
Kevin experienced severe headaches from his initial concussion, but it went undiagnosed because he hid his symptoms from his coaches and the school's athletic trainer. After collapsing into a grand mal seizure on the field after the second impact, he was air lifted to the hospital where he received an emergency craniotomy to relieve the pressure on his brain. The pressure building up in the brain was due to swelling from the SIS and a subdural hematoma (Bleed). Kevin was devastated after the doctors told him that his aspiration to play college football was no longer possible.
After surgery Kevin experienced numerous setbacks in his recovery, which included an infection and an allergic reaction. Kevin went on to play baseball in the spring of 2008 and graduated from Georgetown with a masters degree in sports industry management in hopes of raising concussion awareness. Kevin established the Heads 'N Tales organization to share inspiring stories of perseverance in sports and in life to help others overcome whatever obstacles life throws at them.
After each week of NFL football games the Heads 'N Tales podcast posts an episode dedicated to injuries and health & safety topics surrounding the NFL. Specifically we talk about possible prevention strategies, the rulebook, equipment and other injury buzz around the league. Josh is my co-host and strategist for these episodes. Josh and I grew up playing baseball together. Josh was a division-1 center fielder for Monmouth University and experienced his fair share of injuries throughout his career. Although Josh never played organized football, the dude flat-out knows the game of football. Our intention for these episodes are to spark conversations around topics that are usually brushed under the rug or only minimally covered in the hopes of making football and all sports safer for the athletes who play them.