• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: New purpose after career-ending concussions

September 9, 2018

After multiple concussions and memory loss, professional football player Ben Utecht went to Mayo Clinic for help. Since then, Ben's gained insight into the importance of promptly recognizing and treating concussions. Now he's dedicated to sharing that knowledge with others.

football player Ben Utecht sitting in his family room on a stool looking seriously into the camera

Ben Utecht's professional football résumé included a Super Bowl championship with the Indianapolis Colts and five productive seasons as an NFL tight end. It also included a traumatic brain injury.

Concussions, usually caused by a blow to the head, are most common in contact sports. Recent research from Mayo Clinic shows that while most high school athletes, their parents and coaches can identify the possible effects of a concussion, only about one-third know it is a brain injury.

Ben, who grew up playing small-town football in Minnesota, had been diagnosed with five concussions during his playing career. When the effects of those injuries started to disrupt his daily life, Ben turned to Mayo Clinic.

"I've been in the Mayo system for such a long time, and its reputation obviously precedes itself," Ben says. "They do an exceptional job in patient care and really making patients feel like their situation is genuinely and authentically important." Read the rest of Ben's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.