Pawhuska family waiting on high school staff after 11th grader suffers brain injury on campus

Posted at 5:23 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 18:24:29-05

PAWHUSKA, Okla. -- Julie Marshall has spent the last week writing and passing out letters to leaders across Pawhuska Schools.

The mother tells us she's looking for answers following her 11th grade son coming home with a concussion after wrestling practice last Monday.

"I could see that half of the side of his face... his eye was almost closed, it was all red, his ear was all red, and even part of his mouth was droopy," Julie Marshall said.

The 11th grader went through an MRI and cat scan. Those both showed he suffered from a Chiari Malformation, meaning the brain protrudes out and puts pressure on the spinal cord.

"This is my son's health that is very important. This is a very major thing that has happened to him and we need some answers. That's all the we need. That's it," Marshall said.

The family said they aren't looking to pursue legal action, they just want to make sure this doesn't happen to another student. Pawhuska High School's athletic director did not want to go on camera, but said a doctor at practice examined the student and found him to be coherent.

The director said they waited for his grandmother to take him home, but the family said that isn't the case. They tell us they saw their son drive home himself.

"If we take too long it can get worse. There could be paralysis from it in the future. Any time you're dealing with the brain you need to address that issue pretty quick," the student's stepfather Steve Walters said.

While waiting on a neurologist referral, the family wants clarity on what happened. The athletic director said the student was only hit in the nose, and they would have called the family immediately if they believed it was something more serious. Either way, the family says it's the end of the road for their son's wrestling career.

"There's no more wrestling. This is it. This is it for sure. And that's fine. I just hate it for him because he keeps on and keeps on... and next week is the state championship," Marshall said.

The family and school are also at odds over how the student was evaluated during practice. The parents said their son was given a concussion test. School staff said that was not the case, and they did not believe he had a serious injury.

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