Player pens book to keep memories alive
Ben Utecht seemed to have it all: Former National Football League tight end with a Super bowl ring, beautiful wife and four daughters. However, Utecht experienced a career-ending traumatic brain injury while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals that ultimately changed his life.
Shortly after the brain injury, he began forgetting events, and his memory began to slip away after years suffering from concussions while playing football.
Utecht recently released a book entitled, “Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away.” He says the book is a way for him to preserve the memories he still has for his family in the event they should slip away, according to a recent report.
He has also been busy embarking on a career as a recording artist and motivational speaker and serving as spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology and American Brain Foundation.
“My life has been impacted by traumatic brain injury,” Utecht said in a press release, “challenging me and my family constantly. Brain disease threatens to steal from us what makes us human, and I will fight relentlessly to see that through research we can in fact find the origins of healing through the cures that are waiting to be discovered.”
Dr. Chandra Vedak, a psychiatrist on staff at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. is hopeful that Utecht’s message will help continue to raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries. “It took five decades to recognize that football can cause traumatic brain injury and tons of research to convince Congress, National Football League and the public to pay attention,” he adds. “Ultimately, Utecht’s heart wrenching memoir will drive the message more effectively than any scientific research ever can.”
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