Headgear plea after boy, 12, left with amnesia
A SUNSHINE Coast mother is calling for headgear to be made compulsory in junior rugby league after doctors revealed the protective apparatus probably saved her 12-year-old son's life.
Brock Edwards was diagnosed with post traumatic injury amnesia and hospitalised for five days after being injured in an on-field incident in a match last Saturday.
It was the same match in which teammate Taj Ross suffered a blow which brought his rugby league career to a premature end.
The young prop, who played for the Caloundra Sharks under-12s, has no recollection of the game or the four days leading up it.
He has been left with severe headaches, difficulty concentrating and has been told he cannot play the game he loves for at least 12 months.
Brock's mother, Megan Edwards, is adamant his headgear saved his life and is calling on Sunshine Coast Junior Rugby League to make it mandatory for all players.
"Without that headgear, he probably wouldn't be sitting here now. The doctors said it potentially saved his life," Mrs Edwards said.
"I think it needs to be brought into junior rugby league, that all kids are required to wear headgear."
She said she was "petrified" after arriving late at the game to see Brock on a stretcher and being loaded into an ambulance.
Should headgear be made compulsory in junior rugby league?
This poll ended on 15 April 2014.
Yes. It's vital for their safety.
No. It doesn't add much protection.
It's a choice the child should have to make.
It's a choice the parents of the child should have to make.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"With that accident that happened with (Newcastle Knights player) Alex McKinnon, seeing your son lying there and not responding ... I had the worst thoughts going through my head," she said.
Brock was rushed to Nambour General Hospital and underwent a CT scan.
He was in severe pain but cleared of a broken neck and bleeding on the brain.
His family was told he was suffering photophobia, which meant bright light would cause pain in his head.
He was also diagnosed with post traumatic injury amnesia.
About 24 hours after the incident, he was finally able to open his eyes and communicate properly.
"He was just so sore and had no recollection of what had happened. He swore he was at footy training; he couldn't remember the game," Mrs Edwards said.
"He couldn't remember what day it was. He was adamant it was Tuesday and he was at training."
Brock was only released from hospital on Wednesday.
He's now on regular pain relief for a sprain to his neck and will need to see a GP weekly.
He knows what day of the week it is, but has trouble remembering the date.
When he goes back to school following the Easter break, he will only be able to manage half-days at first.
But by far the biggest change in his life will be the ban on playing football.
"It's very hard for him to accept it. He sees it as him being punished, but we're reiterating it's to save his life," Mrs Edwards said.
The Daily was unsuccessful in its attempts to contact the Sunshine Coast Junior Rugby League for comment on the organisation's headgear policy.