Patrick Anderson | Concussion Legacy Foundation
A HISTORY OF BRAIN TRAUMA, AND THE DEATH OF OUR JOYFUL BOY
By LeeAnn Anderson
My earliest recollection of glimpsing Patrick’s true nature; mischievous jokester, lover of life, occurred at age three. Patrick decided it would be funny if he peed off the upper floor landing while his sister and I were standing in the hall on the first floor. He was giggling and grinning from ear to ear. Seconds after the shockwave came and went, the three of us were crying with laughter. Patrick could be so random! Like the time in high school he asked his friend to pull over while driving through a local park. Patrick jumped out of the car and ran over to a group of folks playing a giant game of Jenga. Without stopping or saying a word he tackled the game pieces rolled across the grass and trotted back to his friends! The video is hilarious. The shockwave for those folks lasted a little longer than a few seconds, his friends are in the car busting a gut! Making people laugh was Patrick’s passion.
Patrick was beautiful. Kind and compassionate, he made friends easily. Patrick approached strangers like he wanted to be treated; with a smile, eye contact and a warm handshake. He didn’t see the color of their skin, or the clothes they were wearing, he saw the individual. Patrick was also blessed with natural physical abilities, instinctively aware of his physical boundaries from a very early age. “Monkeyboy” was his acquired nickname as he would literally climb anything deemed manageable by his young persona, which was most things. We were a good match, my parenting style encouraged discovery. If he felt physically capable of a feat, I rarely ever told him no. Believing in the “Art of Possibility” to build confidence in my children, I trusted their internal instincts.
As Patrick grew older, he ventured into team sports but also had a passion for solo sports. Skimboarding was a favorite from an early age, he eventually acquired the skill to backflip off his skimboard while taking a wave. For obvious reasons this practice was not my favorite. In elementary school a skateboard was his favorite mode of transportation. Confidence, independence, and comfort in his own skin were all traits Patrick displayed from an early age. Patrick played football in the fourth and fifth grade. Being on a team with all African American boys, Patrick learned how it felt to be isolated, how it felt to be the kid that looked different. Navigating “how do I fit in” was an incredible lesson that Patrick never forgot. Patrick was loved by his teammates and he loved them back; he became their friend, their brother. The Tigers won the city championship two years in a row! When my sister asked him in middle school why he didn’t play football anymore he said, “it made my head hurt.”
Patrick started kiteboarding and wakeboarding when he was 13, but his favorite was snowboarding which he started when he was nine. I’ll never forget the look on his face the first time I took him up to Peak 8 in Breckenridge. When he saw the drop into the bowl for the first time, he looked at me like I was the crazy one. I looked him in the eye and told him, “you have this, just follow me and you’ll do great.” Not only did he do great, he was hooked.
Patrick was my adventure buddy. We were adrenaline junkies. From the time he was little, it was always the two of us on family vacations jumping off cliffs/waterfalls and my husband and daughter watching and taking pictures.
Patrick didn’t just have friends; he had a tribe. Kids naturally gravitated towards his non-judgmental attitude. His kind, compassionate nature along with his sense of humor and thirst to find the possibilities in every day was like a light to a moth. Kids were always at our house. The older he got the bigger the group became. I loved having them. Now that Patrick is gone, there is a quietness about the house during the months that he would naturally be home. It’s weird and it takes some getting used to. I play music to keep it from being so noticeable.
A HISTORY OF CONCUSSIONS
When Patrick was a sophomore in high school, he received his first diagnosed concussion. He was running and somehow tripped and hit his head on a concrete parking lot curb. Banged up pretty badly, we took him to urgent care, then to a private doctor the next day. His lacrosse coach was notified and concussion protocol was followed. Two weeks later he was cleared to practice and play with the team. He complained of headaches from time to time but when I took him to the doctor everything checked out OK. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken him to a doctor who specializes in concussions.
Patrick’s senior year, he was sucker punched while trying to pull a boy off one of his best friends during an attack. It was dark and Patrick didn’t see the other kid coming. At 6’ 1”, Patrick fell backwards hard and was knocked out cold. Another boy who was there said Patrick was unconscious for about a minute.
A third concussion occurred the summer before he started his freshman year at Appalachian State University. Patrick and friends were wakeboarding on a trip to the beach, he wiped out, and the board hit him in the head. He was unconscious in the water for a few seconds. He didn’t go see a doctor after this incident and didn’t make us aware that it even happened until much later in the summer. We found a prescription for Ibuprofen amongst his things, he apparently was still having headaches from time to time.
The last day Patrick was alive was Valentine’s Day 2019. This seems appropriate to me given his ability to love deeply. Other than being Valentine’s Day, it seemed to be a normal day for him at school. We texted back and forth, I sent him $50 and a funny pair of socks for the holiday. My husband talked to him several times that afternoon. He sent a funny picture of himself wearing protective goggles during a routine medical exam with a goofy smile on his face like he was in mid laughter! He put his deposit down on his apartment for the following year and he paid for his spring break trip.
Later that evening Patrick met up with his friends at the “cabin,” a regular hang out spot in Boone, NC. On his way out of the dorm, he ran into his good friend Hannah. She said they chatted for several minutes, caught up, and exchanged hugs before Patrick began his walk.
That night, the boys without girlfriends hung out, drank a few beers, started goofing around and being silly. At some point they started to joke-wrestle with each other. Patrick and another boy ended up falling over the porch railing and down a slight hill. They both said they were OK and the fun resumed. At 10:30 p.m. Patrick asked a girl to an upcoming formal, she said yes. Being a school night, the boys disbanded around 11:30 p.m. Patrick was there with his very best friend Palmer, who he said goodnight to and then walked back to his dorm alone.
There is video footage of Patrick walking into the dorm at 12:10 a.m. His roommate JT wasn’t yet home, he had fallen asleep in another friend’s dorm room. Video footage shows JT entering the dorm at approximately 3:00 a.m. Two minutes later 911 was called. JT tried to revive Patrick but he was gone.
No note, nothing in a text message, or email. Nothing in his sketchbook, no dark poetry. The police interviewed over 20 kids, not one said they noticed that Patrick was different, withdrawn, not himself. We, his family, had just spent 10 days in Belize over Christmas break. My husband bought us all tickets to go see Justin Timberlake in concert. We went to see the latest Marvel movie, Patrick’s favorite. Spent time just hanging around the house together. Everything seemed normal.
So, what happened? Why did this carefree kid, who loved his family, had multiple tribes, and felt blessed to be a part of this college experience at App State suddenly end his life?
This doesn’t make any sense. I realize that suicide survivors often say the same thing about their loved one that has passed. I strongly feel something is out of place. Intuitively, I would have known something was going on with Patrick. We were too close, there is no way I wouldn’t have felt an underlying pain if Patrick was hiding something.
BRAIN TRAUMA AND PATRICK: WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED.
Concussions, brain trauma and CTE had recently come into focus as more and more research, documentaries, and athletes stepped forward. With that in mind, my focus started to shift to Patrick’s past concussions and the fall he took the night he died. I remember thinking, the fall must have been significant because several of the boys mentioned it to me the day of his service. Was it possible that he hit his head that night during the fall and reinjured a part of his brain that had been previously damaged? While he was alone in his dorm room in the middle of the night did his brain experience an aneurism, did it short circuit somehow?
I connected with several psychic mediums to try and find answers. Through that process, I was able to communicate with Patrick and learn he felt very intense pressure deep in his head that night. He couldn’t process how dangerous his actions were and thought an escape from the pain would mean sleep, not death. This revelation was incredibly significant.
My goal in sharing my journey in connecting with my son after his death is to highlight the connection between brain trauma and suicide. Studies show suffering just one concussion doubles your risk of suicide. Even without any history of depression or observable changes in mood, it’s important for everyone to understand the potential link. Patrick wasn’t depressed, he was hopeful and full of life. Something happened in his brain that night that can’t fully be explained, not yet. My hope is there will be more research and more questions will be asked like, did the deceased recently experience a fall that could have damaged their brain? Was the deceased healing from a recent concussion? Unless this knowledge is documented, how can it be researched? How will we as a society be aware of the danger without awareness and education?
Click here to donate to the Anderson family fundraiser in memory of Patrick Anderson.
Suicide is preventable and help is available. If you are concerned that someone in your life may be suicidal, the five #BeThe1To steps are simple actions anyone can take to help someone in crisis. If you are struggling to cope and would like some emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to connect with a trained counselor. It’s free, confidential, and available to everyone in the United States. You do not have to be suicidal to call.
Are you or someone you know struggling with lingering concussion symptoms? We support patients and families through the CLF HelpLine, providing personalized help to those struggling with the outcomes of brain injury. Submit your request today and a dedicated member of the Concussion Legacy Foundation team will be happy to assist you.
This story adheres to the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide from reportingonsuicide.org
Patrick Anderson – Cross Country
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2022 Cross Country Roster
Majoring in environmental studies . .. Named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll for 2020-21 and 2021-22 … Recipient of the men’s cross country 2020-21 Strength & Conditioning Newcomer Award
2023 T&F: Competed in the mile, 3K and 5K during indoor season … Top 3,000-meter time was 8:09.50 to finish eighth at the Penn State National Invitational … Finished 23rd at the ACC Indoor Championship in the 5,000 meters (in 14:17.21) and 29th in the 3,000 meters (8:13.44).
2022 XC: Earned All-ACC and All-NCAA Southeast Regional honors … Finished 15th at the ACC Championships, finishing the 8K race in 23:20.8 … Crossed the tape in sixth place at the NCAA Southeast Regional, finishing the 10K race in 29:59.1 … Was 113th at the NCAA Championships, finishing the 10K in 30:21.0 … His best 8K finish of the year was 23:04.4, a second-place finish in the Paul Short Run on Sept. 30.
2022 T&F: During the indoor season, won the 5000m at the Indiana Relays in 14:00. 87, the second-fastest time in school history … Also won the 3000m at the Darius Dixon Invitational (7:54.64) … During the outdoor season, competed in the 5000m and 10,000m at NCAA Preliminaries … Second-team All-ACC in the 10,000 meters … Named to the All-ACC Academic Team for outdoors
2021 XC: Placed second at the season-opening Charlotte Opener (14:50.1) … Placed 26th at ACC Championships, 21st at NCAA Regionals and 108th at NCAA Championships … Earned All-Southeast Region honors … Named to the All-ACC Academic Team
2021 TF: Placed third in men’s 10,000 meters at ACC Outdoor Championships to earn first team All-ACC honors … NCAA First Round qualifier in the men’s 5,000 meters … Named to the All-ACC Academic Team for men’s outdoor track & field … Earned USTFCCCA All-Academic for the 2021 track season
2020 XC: Fourth among Tar Heels and 42nd overall at ACC Championships (24:12.1) . .. Led the Tar Heels and placed third overall vs. Wake Forest and NC State on Oct. 16, covering the 8K course in 24:49.71
Before UNC: Graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School … Two-time state champion in cross country (2018, 2019) … 2019 Foot Locker Northeast Champion … 2019 Foot Locker Finals bronze medalist … 2018 Foot Locker finalist (29th place) … 2019 New Balance Nationals All-American in the outdoor mile (sixth place)
More on Anderson: Son of Meghan and Todd Anderson
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Jeff Skinner getting ready for a tough game
/ NHL. com Correspondent
BUFFALO – Jeff Skinner doesn’t know what’s in store for him.
The Buffalo Sabers forward will play against the Carolina Hurricanes, his former team, for the first time. The game will take place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday (Saturday, 03:30 GMT).
Skinner spent his first eight NHL seasons with the Hurricanes. On August 2, 2018, he was traded to the Buffalo Buffalo for forward Cliff Poo and three draft picks. The hockey player hopes that the game will be interesting, but it will not be easy.
“Of course I will. It’s part of the game, of life,” Skinner said.
Video: BAF-ANA: Skinner dealt with the goaltender spectacularly
Sabers coach Phil Housley understands Skinner well because he’s been in that situation himself. Houseley played the first nine seasons for Buffalo, and then there was an exchange, and on January 4, 19At 91, he played for the first time against the Sabres with the Winnipeg Jets.
“You can prepare for this match as much as you like, but until you get on the ice, you start playing against former teammates, you will worry,” Houseley said. “He needs to go through this. We understand that this match is very is important to him. So we are doing everything to help him cope with emotions. On the other hand, this is an interesting moment for him. So far, he is doing great work, he has become a good partner, plays efficiently, does everything that is asked of him. We need to support him in Carolina.”
Skinner was selected by the Carolinas with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft. He didn’t know what was in store for him at Buffalo when the trade took place. But he was received very warmly. “Since then, everything has been great,” he says.
Skinner easily fit into the new team. He spent most of the season on the left side of the top three with center Jack Eichel. Skinner currently ranks first with the Sabres in goals scored (29) and second in the NHL behind Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. In scoring (42) Skinner is second in Buffalo (Ikel – 49).
With that performance, Skinner can score 55 goals and 80 points, breaking two personal bests of 37 goals in 2016-17 and 63 points in 2010-11 and 2016-17.
“When you start playing with such a talented and technical partner, everything becomes easier,” Skinner said of Eichel. adapt. It’s very interesting to watch him every day in training or games. I see what he does and how he does it.”
[See also: Eichel could play against Carolina]
Understands Skinner and Jason Pominville. After playing 578 games for the Sabers, he scored a goal against a former team on October 14, 2013, already a player for the Minnesota Wild. In the summer of 2017, a reverse exchange took place, and on November 22, 2017, Pominville scored the puck against the Minnesota.
“Take this moment for granted, enjoy it,” says Pominville. “You have to prepare for this game like any other. He will be teased, he will meet many acquaintances. In fact, it all started already on Thursday. It’s interesting. The guys like that kind of thing. You have to get through it, then it gets easier and you can move on. But the first game will always be special.”
90,000 “Carolina” defeated “New Jersey”. Semin scored 3 points, Kovalchuk made a double
ROLIES (North Carolina) – Chris Terry played 235 AHL games to earn his first NHL call-up. The 23-year-old forward understood perfectly well what such a chance was worth, and tried his best not to overwhelm his debut. He will remember this Saturday for the rest of his life – the day he played for the Carolinas for the first time and immediately brought her victory in the match against a strong opponent.
The Hurricanes beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 to cement their lead in the Southeast Division. Rookie Terry scored the Hurricanes’ decisive goal. After the match, the fifth round pick of the 2007 draft muttered in confusion that he scored almost by accident:
“It was like a flash. I didn’t even know what to do… Of course, it was an incredible moment.”
The locker room was full of reporters and Chris posed for the photo in embarrassment, carefully clutching the historic puck. A couple of hours ago, Bobby Sanguinetti hit her, and after a rebound, she fell on a patch in front of the New Jersey goal, right at the feet of Adam Larsson. The Devils defenseman lowered his eyes and saw Terry, who was standing slightly behind him, robbed him. The Swede tried to turn around and retaliate, but the young Keynes forward was already pushing a projectile between the goaltender’s pads. The score became 4:1.
“I saw that Hedberg had already sat down on his knees and tried to perform a feint,” said the hero of the day. “I don’t even know how the puck got past the line. All I remember was standing and watching it cross the ribbon.”
In addition to the beautiful story of Terry, yesterday’s match was memorable for the sniper duel between Ilya Kovalchuk and Jiri Tlusta (both scored two goals), as well as three points from Alexander Semin, who was recognized as the first star of the meeting.
The Russian leader of Carolina opened the scoring in the 13th minute. The hosts played the majority, and at some point the Devils four forgot Semin at the far post. After receiving a pass from Joe Corvo, Sasha outplayed Hedberg in one motion and hit the target with an uncomfortable hand. After 28 seconds, the Keynes doubled the lead, successfully completing a quick three-for-two counterattack. Hedberg managed a shot from Staal Jr., but Jeff Skinner caught the rebound with his skate and passed the puck to Jay Harrison. 30-year-old defender did not miss – 2:0.
New Jersey attacked no better or worse than ever. Six minutes of penalty per evening is also an acceptable figure. However, it all ended with a bag of missed goals and a sixth defeat in the last 8 matches.
“You can analyze anything and everything, but I wouldn’t say that we play so badly in equal lineups,” said Devils coach Peter Debour at a press conference. “Yes, we can’t score. But we don’t make too many mistakes – it’s just that the opponents use their chances and our mistakes become more obvious.”
Perhaps New Jersey really didn’t deserve a one-sided defeat, although Carolina could have finished off the guests before the break. Immediately after the second goal, Patrik Eliash entered into combat with Semin and raised his stick too high. The Hurricanes got two minutes of numerical advantage and . .. an own goal. An accidental rebound in the Devils zone helped Kovalchuk get a one-on-one run and Dan Ellis couldn’t stop him. Ilya scored for the first time in the last 7 matches.
Covey’s goal briefly delayed New Jersey’s execution. The second period wards Debur failed. In the 25th minute, Jiri Tlusty scored: Ellis threw the puck to someone else’s blue line, where Semin picked it up and laid it out on a silver platter for a Czech sniper to throw.
“I saw that the opponents went to change and noticed Semin in front,” said the assistant goalkeeper. “Who better to trust with the puck than him? He’s one of our best players this year. Alex crossed the ball and our attack ended up right.”
Then Terry scored his goal, and at the end of the period – Skinner. Hedberg made a save and almost pinned the puck to the ice, but the persistent Canadian still drove it into the net. The scoreboard lit up a humiliating 5-1 score for the Devils.
At the beginning of the third period the guests were lucky. At the 22nd second, Kovalchuk made a pass from outside the gate and successfully hit Faulk’s strong point – 5:2. Yesterday Ilya was the most throwing player on the court: 7 shots, 2 goals. This double helped him get into the top 30 top scorers in the league (now the Russian has 22 points in 25 meetings).
A little later, Eliasz effectively corrected Marek Zydlicki’s wrist, removing the cobweb from the near “nine”. Anton Volchenkov received an assistant score, and New Jersey received a hope for salvation. Carolina head coach Kirk Muller immediately took a time out and reasoned with his wards. “After a pause, we calmed down and played to our strength again,” the specialist stated contentedly after the match.
The Hurricanes held strong until the final siren and even scored for the sixth time when the Devils removed the goaltender. The author of the last goal was Tlusty (the best sniper of the Keynes), his assistants were Semin (the best passer of the club) and Eric Staal (the best scorer).