TEAM JAYSON : Brain Injury Recovery

On Friday, November 7, 2014, Jayson Smith,16, a Junior at BCHS was seriously injured in a playoff football game. Smith, #66 is a 6'2", 280# left tackle, and right guard. He starts both ways, and usually plays the entire game.

Jayson took two significant hits during the course of the same game. The first hit was an illegal block to the back, which whipped his head forward and back. The second hit was from the right side, rocking his brain from right to left and then back. (That hit also damaged the ligaments in his left shoulder.)

After the game, Jayson was transported to a local hospital via car, and by the time he reached there was experiencing significant neurological deficit. He couldn't speak without stuttering "dog" was "d-d-d-d-dog", for example. He was in shock, and had very little use of his left arm and leg, no strength in his left side, and a slight droop to his face.

As soon as it was possible to do so, Jayson was airlifted to Kentucky Childrens Hospital (UK) and placed in the Pediatric ICU (PICU) under full stroke protocol. The thought on November 8th was that Jayson had been hit so hard that his carotid artery had been torn. 

Between November 8 and November 12th, Neurologists ruled out the carotid tear, any congenital issues, anurysm, stroke, heart problems, and gave us the diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Second Hit Syndrome (Double Concussion).

His first appointment with the TBI group resulted in the discovery of the shoulder issues.

Jayson has a long road back. He hasn't been cleared to even begin any type of therapy yet, and won't be for several more weeks.

His stutter has diminished. He can speak casually with much less of a problem, but has more issues when asked complex questions.

He has no concept of time, very little short term memory, and a significant deficit in his left arm and leg. There is concern about his vision now, as well, because he has decreased light sensitivity in his left eye.

Jayson is an honor student (AP American History, Honors English, AP Chemistry), a three sport athlete (baseball, football, and basketball), and a student leader (student council, FBLA). He is also a member of the band, and while he can play every brass instrument, he prefers the trumpet.

My name is Jen Smith. I'm his mom. Together with his Bonus Dad, Greg Adkins, his sister, and his bio Dad, Kurt Smith, we make up the core of TEAM JAYSON.

*** As a mother, I am terrified. It's tough to admit we need help financially, but we do. There are so many incidental expenses to consider, that any help in the coming weeks would be appreciated.  It's simply overwhelming.  I have enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, but with all the hour long trips to UK med center, and everything else, we need a bit of a cushion until we figure things out and have our feet on the ground.

We've started a Facebook page for Jayson called TEAM JAYSON, and hope you will like, follow and share the page. We need prayers, lots of them. This is a long road, but we have good friends, good doctors, and God to walk with us.


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Jen Smith 
Berea, KY
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