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Sports-Related Head Injuries Derail Life for Portland Football Player

Children are encouraged to engage in sports-related activities. While some view team sports as a hobby and something fun to do with friends, others have high hopes of eventually making it to the pros. This ambition can cause them and their coaches to take risks, particularly when it comes to downplaying potentially serious personal injuries. For one Portland teen, playing with a head injury had devastating impacts on his life.

Portland Football Player Suffers Dramatic Changes After Concussion

By all appearances, Portland teen and football star Jonathan Boland was headed for great things in 2013. According to a February 2019 report by the Portland Herald, Boland was the starting quarterback for Parkrose High School and, as a junior, was already gaining attention from college football scouts at schools in Oregon, California, and Washington State. During a taped Friday night game and in the middle of an aggressive play, he was tackled by two linebackers, one of whom landed on his head.

Boland himself has little memory of the incident or of being taken to the local hospital emergency room. It was not the first time he had taken a blow to the head, but it was one of the most severe, ending his junior season. However, despite symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea, he continued to train for the following year. He kept his symptoms to himself and while friends and fellow players noticed a change, his skills on the field earned him a full scholarship at Portland State University.

Unfortunately, it did not take long for PSU coaches to notice that he struggled with post-concussion symptoms, such as blurred vision, slowed reaction times, and general sluggishness. Within just a few months, his symptoms became so severe that he was forced to walk away from the game. He went from being a football star to a failing college dropout hooked on anti-anxiety medication. The following year, he committed a string of robberies, landing him in trouble with the law.

Concussions and Young Athletes

According to Brainline, nearly four million sports-related concussions occur each year, with more than 70 percent involving children under the age of 18. Boland’s story illustrates how dangerous these injuries can be to young players and the long-ranging impacts they can have on every area of their lives.

Parents rely on team doctors and coaching staff to protect young athletes. However, if the proper protocols are not in place and the student plays an important position or is not vocal about their symptoms, they are too often returned to the field. This increases the risks of post-concussion syndrome. In addition to changes in their personality, it can result in permanent disabilities or even death.

Discuss Your Case With Our Portland Personal Injury Attorneys

At the Johnston Law Firm, we help hold team staff members and school administrators responsible for actions that put your child in jeopardy. If your son or daughter suffers a sports-related injury, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland personal injury attorneys online and request a consultation to see how we can help you.  


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.