MIAMI, Fla -- When Reuben Nsemoh woke up from a three-day coma in Georgia, he was speaking Spanish instead of English. He had never spoken the language before.
A player kicked the 16-year-old goalie in the head when he dived for the ball. And Reuben was having seizures before paramedics put him in a helicopter to rush him to the hospital.
His parents said it was his third concussion. Traumatic brain injuries can cause short and long term changes in language, according to TBI researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Reuben said he has a lot of Spanish-speaking friends, who speak the language when he is around. He believes this might have had something to do with the strange episode that shocked and confused his parents.
As he recovered, Reuben started to speak English again, and he later talked to reporters while recovering at home.
"Sometimes I daze out," Reuben told a WSBTV reporter. "Sometimes I feel like I am not there, but I am."
A family friend set up a GoFundMe account to help Reuben's parents.
Tips to reduce your child's risk of TBI
- Buckle your child in the car
- Get your child to wear a helmet. Safety experts suggest the use of helmets for bike riding, skateboarding and playing contact sports such as football, soccer or boxing.
- Install window guards to keep children from falling out of open windows and use safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Install shock-absorbing material such as hardwood mulch or sand at the playground.
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