Family pushes for Georgia to pass youth concussion law - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Family pushes for Georgia to pass youth concussion law

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A bill to protect young athletes has it strongest chance yet to be passed this year. The 'Return to Play Act of 2013' would require public and private schools to establish a concussion policy. Georgia is one of only six states without a youth concussion law. One family is pushing hard for it to be passed.

Jonathan Barnett, or JB as he likes to be called, loves sports.

"Just running out there and getting a pass," Barnett said. 

That's the way JB spends some of his time, throwing passes with his step-dad Ricky Gipson. His mom, Vickie Gipson, fondly recalls her son's younger years.

"He was a bundle of energy at the time he was born," Vickie Gipson said.

JB was good at everything.

"He was a three-sport athlete. Football, wrestling and baseball. His hands were so good they wanted him to be a receiver. Anything they threw to him - football or baseball- he could catch," Ricky Gipson said.

So you can imagine his parents pride when JB made his first touchdown. They could not have prepared for what happened immediately after.

"As he was getting off the ground a young man came and did an earhole hit. He staggered around. He fell down and got back up. He walked off the field walking sideways," Ricky Gipson said.

"I knew was hurt, I just didn't know to what extent," Vickie Gipson said.

The JB they knew never returned.

"As a mother you know your child, and the behavior I saw with him was not him, because he had always had such a love for life, from sports to whatever he did. He did with so much gusto," Vickie Gipson said.

The concussion sidelined JB in 2005. Roughly a year and a half later, JB was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. And just two months after that, in March 2007, the Gipson's faced another unimaginable situation while at church.

"I overheard a boy say, 'JB just shot himself.' Instantly my heart just stopped," Vickie Gipson said.

"In my heart I thought he was gone. Well he gurgled and when he did, I got in his face and I saw it was Jonathan. And you ask about feelings. Someone couldn't cut you open and make you feel no emptier," Ricky Gipson said.

Doctors told the Gipson's JB would not survive the injury.

"They told us within four to six hours he would die, the brain would herniated and he would be gone and after that six hours, it was any minute and any hour," Vickie Gipson said.

JB defied the odds.

"I shot myself. I don't know why," Barnett said.

JB said he wasn't himself after the concussion.

"It made me feel sad. I was confused. I couldn't be in the lunchroom with everyone," Barnett said.

And now, his life is dramatically different.

"Most of the time it's his bedroom and DVDs. Watching movies is what he lives to do," Ricky Gipson said.

"I lost the Jonathan that I knew. I thank God everyday for what I've got, but I don't have the same kid," Vickie Gipson said.

It all goes back to one concussion.

"One concussion, one child hitting another child playing a game. No money involved, just playing a game," Ricky Gipson said.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:54 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:54:45 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
  • Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:22:51 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:55 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:55:32 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>
  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 11:44 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:44:31 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly