Posted on November 12, 2012 · Posted in Brain Injury

University of Wisconsin graduate Blake Geoffrion, who plays hockey for the Hamilton (Ontario) Bulldogs, is recovering from a brain injury that nearly took his life last Friday.

The aftermath of  Geoffrion’s TBI was outlined by USA Today Monday in a blog by sports writer Josh Cooper, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture, despite the fact that the 24-year-old hockey player looks like he is going to make it.

Geoffrion, a Tennessee native and Montreal Canadiens prospect, was playing against the Syracuse Crunch in an American Hockey League game when he flew up off the ice.

When he came down, he hit his head on the skate of Crunch defenseman Jean-Philippe Cote, according to USA Today. The skate hit a bone over Geoffrion’s left ear, fracturing his skull and putting him in an operating room for surgery.

Surprisingly, Geoffrion was able to walk off the rink after he was hit, his head bleeding. On his way to the hospital in an ambulance, Geoffrion was chatting, USA Today reported. But not long after he arrived in the hospital, he went into convulsions. Surgeons discovered that pieces of his skull had traveled into his brain, according to USA Today.

Doctors cleaned the injured area out and removed a small piece of Geoffrion’s skull, replacing  it with a plate made of titanium and metal mesh, USA Today reported. Geoffrion seems to be making progress, and got out of intensive care Sunday. He is already on Twitter tweeting message to well-wishers.

The Montreal Canadiens put out a rather rosy, upbeat update about Geoffrion’s medical condition on Saturday.

“Blake Geoffrion, 24, had successful surgery last night for treatment of a depressed skull fracture,” the statement said. “His condition is stable and he remains at the intensive care unit at the hospital. He is out indefinitely, and the medical staff is expecting a complete recovery from his injury.”

A complete recovery? People who know anything about brain injury know that “a complete recovery” is very often not the outcome of a TBI.

USA Today reported that Geoffrion’s career in hockey is now in question. It should be. His brain injury last week is not the first such injury that he has ever received. He has sustained multiple concussions in the past, according to his worried family.

Current scientific evidence is that repeated concussions can leads to permanent brain damage. Pro hockey and football players who have suffered such injury have committed suicide.

Not only that, but several of Geoffrion’s relatives have suffered horrendous injuries playing the game, according to USA Today. His great grandfather Howie Morenz got a badly broken leg in a game in 1932 and died of complications from the surgery, USA Today reported. And Geoffrian’s grandfather Bernie Geoffrion ruptured his bowel during a practice in 1958 and almost died, surviving after emergency surgery.

Here is my advice to Geoffrion: Hang up your skates for good and run, don’t walk, away from hockey.


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447