Nationally, 7 high school football players have died this year from concussions. Now, there's concern about the future of a high school senior in Riverside who is in a hospital in an induced coma because of one.
It was Friday night, the Riverside Poly Bears were playing Moreno Valley Rancho Verde. About 7 minutes into the third quarter Josh Nava - #18 - runs helmet-first into another player. He’s down on the field, gets up and wobbles.
He's really woozy and not doing well. He takes himself out of the game and as he heads to the sidelines, but there he drops to the ground again. Josh is very sick and vomiting. He was taken to a hospital with a serious concussion. He's put into an induced coma and receives emergency brain surgery. He's been hospitalized ever since.
Justin Grayson, a spokesman for the Riverside Unified School District says, “Right now the family and the Riverside community members, teammates, are all just rallying around, all hanging out at the hospital hoping and praying for a quick recovery.
At the hospital we met some. Understandably, they weren’t comfortable talking about the case. About the same time Josh’s brother, Luis, posted on Facebook some encouraging words. He said...
"Right now my brother Joshua is breathing on his own. Thank you so much for (the) love you all have shown. Let's keep praying as for now I am so happy and thankful for everyone that has been there for us in this very rough time that we the family have been going through. Thank you for the support."
What is Riverside Unified School District doing to prevent concussions? All their players are using special helmets from Riddell Sports. They have electronic sensors so officials on the sidelines can see what a player has experienced.
Grayson says it alerts them, but admits it doesn’t prevent a concussion. He says the helmet serves as a second set of eyes to help officials on the sidelines know if there are problems.
Right now, a lot of people are praying for the recovery of Josh Nava.