A Missouri high school football player passed away Thursday morning from a brain injury he sustained last month during a game.
Chad Stover, a junior at Tipton High School, suffered the injury during a game against Sacred Heart High School on Oct. 31. He collapsed after a hit midway through the fourth quarter, according to ABC17News.com, and was transported to University Hospital in Columbia, Mo., in critical condition. The remainder of the game was called off following Stover’s injury.
There was no ambulance present at the game, ABC17News.com reported, although it’s unclear whether the wait for the ambulance affected Stover’s prognosis in any way. (He ended up being transported to the hospital via an emergency medical helicopter, or “life flight.”) The Missouri State High School Activities Association only requires schools to have an emergency action plan in place, but doesn’t require ambulances, athletic trainers, or medical personnel to be on site.
Chad’s mother, Amy, had been posting updates about his condition on the website CaringBridge.org. On Nov. 6, she wrote that he had a brain bleed in the core of his brain, some signs of a concussion, and “signs of brain damage that is fairly extensive from lack of oxygen.” Six days later, she wrote, “We seem to slip backwards a little more everyday.” On Nov. 14, Amy posted her final update, saying, “As most of you know, Chad is now whole again with the Lord.”
Stover’s friends and family took to Twitter to express their condolences using the hashtag #PrayForChad.
He’s at least the seventh high school football player to pass away this year from a football-related injury, according to ESPN’s Tom Farrey.
2013 now one of deadliest in past quarter century for HS football. Since ’86 (11 deaths), only twice has # been this high-8 in ‘01, 7 in ‘08
-- Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey) November 15, 2013
The data Farrey cites comes from a 2012 study by Frederick Mueller, the director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
On a related note: SportsOnEarth.com’s Patrick Hruby wrote a must-read article this week on the choice parents must make when deciding whether to allow their children to play football.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.