Gracie Hussey was 7 years old when she had her first concussion from heading in soccer. Now 15, she can no longer play the game, but Gracie and her family are helping to raise concussion awareness through Safer Soccer.
Below is a full transcription of the Hussey family's interview:
Who is Gracie Hussey?
I'm Gracie Hussey I'm 15 years old I'm from Memphis, Tennessee and I've been playing competitive soccer since first grade.
Gracie on her first concussion:
Gracie Hussey: I was probably either 7 or 8, as I was going for the header, since I was so much smaller than her, her elbow actually went up to my forehead. She elbowed me in the forehead and I also got knocked to the ground. The next day at school I couldn't see the board unless I turned sideways.
How did the concussion impact the Hussey family?
Beth Hussey: Everyone in the stands just kind of you know made that sound like ‘Ah what happened’ and, of course Gracie pops back up, but you could tell that things weren't really right. She was in the kitchen and had some friends over and was repeating herself and I remember looking at her and saying, ‘You realize you just said that to me are you okay?’ and she said, ‘Yeah I'm fine’ and then Gracie repeated herself again and then I realized - she's not doing this on purpose and something's not right.
Why does the Hussey family support Safer Soccer?
Richard Hussey: I met them in the hospital afterwards it was very, very worrying because you just again you don't think about that happening to your child it's always somebody else's child and you feel pretty powerless because you don't know. And what I started to find out was how little people know about these brains and brain injuries and how little they can really tell and determine what's actually going on. I think Safer Soccer can sort of transcend the clubs and the coaches and educate everyone, the whole community and build awareness.