Iowa High School Football Player in Coma From Bullying
A 16-year-old Iowa high school football player is in a coma after undergoing brain surgery. The teen needed the operation after enduring physical bullying by his teammates, the Des Moines Register reports.
According to Kacey Strough’s family, the Bedford High School freshman complained about two weeks ago that his teammates "kept hitting [him] on the head with a football" and that he was allegedly hit a number of times in the head. The harassment got too much for Strough to handle and he complained to one of his coaches. The school’s officials, however, have yet to speak out about the incident and have not stated whether administration took the necessary steps to protect the teen.
After enduring the attacks, Strough said he began to suffer from headaches, speech problems and eventually became paralyzed on the left side of his body. The boy’s step-grandmother, Chris Strough, said his eye and mouth became droopy. The teen’s family took him to the doctor several times but on Friday doctors decided to perform a risky brain surgery in hopes to successfully remove a blood clot near the brain stem.
The operation lasted nearly eight hours and the teen’s step-grandmother said doctors told his family that he would be in an induced coma for two days to control swelling. He could remain in the coma for a few weeks or a month.
"This kid’s going to pay for the rest of his life for something an adult could’ve stopped," Chris Strough said.
Bedford High School Superintendent Joe Drake said he could not discuss the incident with the Des Moines Register because of student privacy restrictions and advice from the school’s lawyer. Officials from the school district did release a statement, however, and said the staff is "still in the process of investigating" and "in constant contact with the family."
The school’s investigation began on Friday just before Strough was operated on, Drake said.
Although the Register reported that local police department told the newspaper that they were not part of the investigation, Iowa’s TKMA Radio says Bedford Police Chief Jeremy Holben released a press released that stated that there is an active investigation into the incident.