The hit was a hard one, leaving Cody, a high-school football player, with severe headaches for three days. After a CT scan of his brain came back normal, his doctor still recommended he not return to the football field until well after his symptoms had resolved.
But being committed to the sport and his team, he returned to practice. There he sustained another head injury that led to a condition known as second impact syndrome, and it was devastating. Six years later at age 23, Cody uses a wheelchair and has diminished mental capacity. Yet his parents consider him lucky since second impact syndrome is fatal in about 85 percent of cases.