High School Football Player Recovering after Brain Injury

Updated: 09/09/2013 5:40 PM
Created: 09/08/2013 10:33 PM
By: Leslie Dyste

Awareness of concussions and brain injuries is growing at all levels of football. The violent nature of the game turned nearly deadly at one West Metro football field Friday night.

Sixteen-year-old Luke Nelson collapsed in the game between Dassel-Cokato and Orono.

Now, Luke is recovering from a life-threatening brain injury after being rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Two days after he almost lost his son, Luke's dad has a message for athletes- the player is more important than the next play. "I'm one of those dads that has always been... you gotta get out there and play... tough it out. I've seen the other side now and you need to get that through to these kids," Greg Nelson said.

Luke was in as a linebacker Friday, playing hard-hitting football. After a few plays his parents saw him stumbling around and acting very disoriented.

He then collapsed and was unresponsive. His body was shaking with a seizure. Luke was taken to the hospital and then was flown to HCMC.

Luke went into surgery, and the right half of his skull was removed to relieve pressure that was building inside his brain.

Luke's parents say their son is now cracking jokes and charming the nurses. He will still have more tests.

Luke's mom says she is thankful for the support they've experienced over the past two days.

Click here for injury guidelines.

Luke Nelson, 16, collapsed in the game between Dassel-Cokato and Orono.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Scattered Clouds
78° | 59°
  • Feels like: 66° F
  • Wind: ENE 8mph
  • Humidity: 75%
  • Thu Mainly cloudy and rainy
    71° | 62°
  • Fri Scattered thunderstorms possible
    78° | 60°
  • Sat Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun
    80° | 60°
  • Sun Afternoon showers and thunderstorms
    83° | 65°