CLAREMORE, Okla. -- A Claremore football star is hanging up his helmet after doctors discover a spinal condition, which makes the teen more susceptible to paralysis.
"Cherish your football while it lasts because it can get taken away from you in a split second, like it did to me," said Bryson Brown, a Senior at Claremore High School.
Claremore Senior Bryson Brown has spent his life playing football. He worked his way to starting fullback, starting defensive end and a spot on special teams for the Zebras.
In a recent football game, Brown said something went wrong.
"Hit my head on the ground and I pinched a nerve in my neck," Brown said.
The injury led Brown to get an MRI scan, and that's when doctors told the 18-year-old he has spinal stenosis.
"I was shocked and I had a hard time getting over the fact that I’m never playing football again," Brown said.
And it's not just missing the Friday night lights.
"I’ll be limited to all physical activity the rest of my life and will probably have surgery in my middle age," Brown said.
The team is just as devastated as Brown.
"It honestly hurt like I felt for him because there was nothing he can do about it, that’s what bothers me the most because I know he wants to be out here with us," said Tristin Hampton, one of Brown's teammates.
Brown is sticking to the gridiron from the sideline by helping the team and staying as close to the game as he can.
"He’s our biggest cheerleader right now and he’s here every step of the way with us," CHS head coach Jarrett Hurt said.
While Brown is upset he can't finish his senior year playing with his team, he's thankful he found out about his diagnosis before it was too late.
Brown said it's not something doctors can diagnosis in a typical physical, so the original injury was a blessing in disguise.
"I don’t want to spend the rest of my life numb in some areas or in a wheelchair so it’s good," he said.
Brown says he plans on attending the University of Oklahoma after graduating from Claremore, and this diagnosis has inspired him even more to study in the medical field.
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