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Mulvane teen talks about hit that ended career

By Michael Schwanke, mschwanke@kwch.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:54:23 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 27 2013 09:43:55 AM CST
(WICHITA, Kan.) -

Mulvane senior Patrick Kraft remembers everything up to the moment of impact.

“I woke up and there were six people around me.  I thought this isn't good,” says Kraft, reliving the moment he regained consciousness.

Kraft was knocked out in a helmet to helmet collision during a playoff game with Collegiate.

It’s a moment his parents will never forget.

“I heard it and saw the leg go out,” says Bill Kraft, Patrick’s dad.

“All I saw was Pat lying out there flat...I thought oh no…he’s not moving,” says his mom, Terasa Kraft.

“I heard them call for screwdriver and cutters and that's never good,” says Bill.

Patrick eventually regained consciousness and gave the worried crowd two thumbs up from a EMS stretcher.

“It’s an uneasy feeling to see yourself there and not moving,” says Patrick after watching the video of the hit.

He now becomes a statistic, one of an estimated 250,000 high school athletes to suffer a concussion each year.

A report by the National Academy of Sciences found most concussion symptoms disappear within two weeks, but 10 to 20 percent of concussion sufferers still experience symptoms anywhere from weeks to months to years later.

Across sports, 250,000 concussions were reported to emergency rooms in 2009 for people under age 19, up from 150,000 in 2001.

The report also found high school athletes are twice as likely to suffer a concussion that college players.  That is partly because of athletes varying levels of physical maturity at the high school level.

In Patrick’s case it’s his second concussion making the decision to stay off the field an easy one.

“It's an easy decision. It's the end of the season senior year…pretty significant head injury with a history of multiple head injuries. It's pretty obvious what he decision was,” says his Dr. Steven Scheufler, Patrick’s family physician.

Scheufler says another head injury could be catastrophic.

The hit didn't just end his high school football career. It will also keep him off the wrestling mat this winter.

“No wrestling,” says Patrick who told us there was no debate.

Following the latest concussion treatment, Patrick was kept home from school for several days. No reading, no TV, no electronics or any kind of stimulation.

“We know you have to rest your brain,” says Dr. Scheufler.

With many tests ahead of him, Patrick is slowly getting back to a normal routine. Weeks after the hit he still deals with symptoms.

“Headaches,” says Patrick.

He says he will always have a love for football, as will his parents and doctor. But they all says you have to know when to stop.

“It teaches you life lessons, leadership, people skills and how to become a better man,” says Patrick.

“Probably most of the kids aren't going to be professional football players. They're going to have other jobs. We need to protect they're brain,” says Dr. Scheufler.
Patrick’s dad agrees.

“I think we need to be realistic about the expectations we put on our kids,” says Bill Kraft.

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