HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV)- A high school football player in Hot Springs is recovering after a concussion left him seizing on Thursday night. During practice at Hamilton Lake High last night, Jeisen Strickland was tackled. He was running a play and hit his head on the turf.
“I didn’t know what happened because I didn’t see the hit,” said Strickland’s mother, Jani Degrasse. “When I saw him lying there, he wasn’t moving his feet or anything, he wasn’t saying anything. He wasn’t opening his eyes.”
Strickland was airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital where doctors told Degrasse her son suffered a severe concussion and had a seizure.
Strickland lost mobility of his body for hours, but slowly recovered throughout the night. By 2 a.m., he started regaining mobility. “I’m really glad he started getting better, because we didn’t know how bad it could have been.”
By early morning he regained his motor skills. “They handed me the ball,” said Strickland. He says he remembers play by play. “I was going make a cut, and I just remember hitting somebody’s knee, and everything went dark for a couple of seconds and my head was spinning.”
In the two decades of experience at the school, Lake Hamilton’s coach Jerry Clay said he has encountered these situations before. Clay estimates he has seen a concussion every other year. He says they’re hard to evaluate, making them almost inevitable.
Strickland was released from the hospital around 6 p.m. on Friday. His mother says he is walking slowly and is in a lot of pain. His coach says they will focus on physical therapy for now, and take extra precaution. It is very likely Strickland will not return to the field this season.