Full Impact

Full Impact by Suzanne Weyn Read Free Book Online

Book: Full Impact by Suzanne Weyn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Suzanne Weyn
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    â€œCome on,” Coach Green said with calm firmness, and he put his arm around Arnie’s shoulders. “Let’s get you to the bench. ”
    This time Arnie didn’t argue. He let Coach Green steer him off the field.

N
    orval watched as Arnie sat on the bench and the medics looked him over. A burly young medic named Phil shined a small flashlight in Arnie’s eyes.
    â€œOne pupil is more dilated than the other,” Phil reported to another medic. He then held up one finger. “Try to follow my finger with your eye,” Phil said, and he slowly drew a straight line in the air in front of Arnie.
    Phil looked his partner and shook his head. “He’s not following.”
    Next Phil held out two fingers to Arnie. “Grab my fingers as hard as you can,” he said.
    Arnie did as he was told.
    Again, Phil shook his head. “Weak grip,” he reported to the other medic. “Can you describe to me how you’re feeling, Arnie?” Phil asked.
    â€œSick,” Arnie answered. “And I’m seeing things weird. One minute everything is blurred. Then it’s jumpy and flickering. Sometimes I see two of things.”
    â€œProbable traumatic occipital lobe injury. Possibly secondary impact syndrome,” Phil said to the other medic. “Let’s bring the ambulance around. Arnie, we’re taking you the hospital, okay? They’ll need to run some tests on you.”
    â€œWhat kind of tests?” Norval asked.
    â€œA CAT scan and probably an MRI. They’ll want to get a look at his brain.”
    â€œAre your parents in the stands, Arnie?” Coach Green asked.
    Arnie didn’t reply.
    â€œThey don’t usually come to the games,” Norval told him.
    â€œOkay. I’ll call them,” Coach Green said.
    The medics left for a moment. Norval heard the whoop of an ambulance siren as they brought the vehicle to the edge of the field. Then they unloaded a stretcher and strapped Arnie onto it.
    â€œCan I go with him?” Norval asked.
    â€œAre you family?” Phil asked. Norval shook his head. “Then you can’t. Sorry.”
    â€œYou have a game to finish, Norval,” Coach Green said. “Coach Gannon will follow them to the hospital. He’ll stay until Arnie’s parents arrive.”
    The other players and the cheerleaders gathered as the medics carried Arnie toward the ambulance. “Will he be all right?” Lara asked Norval.
    â€œI don’t know,” Norval said. “I hope so.”

N
    orval’s feet crossed the goal line, and the crowd went wild. He’d scored the winning touchdown. The Titans were headed to the semifinals!
    Despite the crowd’s cheers, Norval found it hard to feel happy. He blamed himself for not speaking to Coach Green sooner. Arnie was in the hospital, and he could have prevented it. Once Coach Green had told Norval what to look for, he’d known almost right away that Arnie was dealing with a concussion.
    He noticed that Kadeem wasn’t looking too thrilled either, even as their teammates jumped and shouted with joy.
    â€œI feel for the guy,” Kadeem said as the crowd started to scatter. “I’m pretty sure I’ve had a concussion or two. I’ve had some of those symptoms. But they always go away.”
    â€œYour brain probably had time to heal,” Norval said.
    â€œMaybe. It was just luck if that’s the case. I knew those Miller scouts were watching Arnie. I didn’t want to mess up his chances. Since I’ve always ended up all right, I hoped Arnie would too. It’s not fair. Why did I get better, and Arnie just kept getting worse?”
    â€œIt could be your position,” Norval said. “The quarterback doesn’t get hit as much. Your brain has had time to heal between hits. And Arnie always ran good interference for me.”
    Kadeem scowled. “Man, I want to play pro ball, but even that’s not

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