Largo, Florida — Friday night means high school football, and there’s no place Largo’s Taj Taylor would rather be than on the field playing, but last week Taj was knocked out cold, laying motionless on the field for 10 minutes and suffering a level 3 concussion.
“I could feel my head, my head was just like…killing me,” said Taylor.
Even worse, it took more than 10 minutes for an ambulance to make it to him. Taj’s mom, Melissa Bonacci, is the team photographer. She was on the sidelines with her camera, and says waiting for the ambulance was terrifying.
“Every single day I think I’m a little more aware of how traumatic it was, and just the blessing to have my son to be alive and walking,” said Bonacci.
Pinellas County Schools did away with EMTs on site years ago, but do have medical trainers and even doctors on game nights. Taj’s mom said people were helping her son, but they don’t have the equipment that EMT’s do, and she’s hoping for change.
“We’re just hoping to help make awareness for this that we really want to avoid a tragedy, we really wanna bring awareness to that. This is a collision sport, it’s a contact sport,” said Bonacci.
As for Taj, he hopes his near-tragedy will bring that change.
“It’s just amazing to feel like I could make a big change for everybody else, and maybe save somebody’s life,” said Taylor.
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