In middle school, playing sports is a huge part of a student’s life. For Garrett Splichal, he played football and wrestled. In just 10 days, that lifestyle for Garrett changed in the blink of an eye.
Two concussions in ten days resulted in Garrett being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. He was out of school for around six months and is out of contact sports for life. What did that leave Garrett with? Track & field.
“You know, when I found out I couldn’t do sports anymore I was like ‘aw man’ but you just kinda get through it,” he said.
His mom, Julie Splichal, said it was hard to recognize at first because headaches weren’t the biggest symptom her son suffered from.
“At first we thought of it as, he was out of football. Then out of football and wrestling,” she said. “And now we’ve realized that contact sports are out..most likely for the rest of his life.”
This prompted Garrett to want to raise awareness for traumatic brain injuries and concussions. He came up with the idea for a 5K charity walk/run at the Eudora High School.
Both Garrett and his mother urge people to come out and support the cause — not just for themselves, but also so people know how easily concussions can happen. Garrett was messing around at home when he got his first concussion, and tubing the next time.
“We really wish people and teens and college students would come and support Garrett and the other youth, and the other people that have TBI’s and just make them more aware of how easily it can happen,” Julie said.
The race is May 20 from 9-11 a.m. in Eudora. Registration is $25. For more information, visit: www.projectsplichal5K.com.