One in 500 school-age children each year receive a head injury severe enough to be hospitalized. On July 28, 2015, young Luke Siegel suffered a horrific accident in Lubbock, Texas, when a modified golf cart landed on him and his brain was deprived of oxygen for more than 7 minutes.
Luke grew up passionate about sports and competition, developing a special bond with his father, Tim, who was born in New Orleans. Now it’s a different life for Luke and his family, but with help and inspiration from his hero, Drew Brees, and his favorite football team, the New Orleans Saints, Luke continues to make strides in his therapy. Tim and Luke have attended eight Saints games together since the accident, and Tim Siegel says Drew Brees now may be “the most important person in Luke’s life.”
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and Tim, a former pro tennis player and tennis coach at Texas Tech University, joined Rachel Jones on Black and Gold Rush to discuss how the Saints have impacted their lives through more than just their play on the field. You can help Team Luke Hope for Minds by donating $3 in March at https://www.teamlukehopeforminds.org/. Wear green on March 3rd for Team Luke Hope for Minds Day! Since 2018, Team Luke Hope for Minds has reached children in 28 states and granted $750,000 to children who have suffered brain injuries. The organization provides financial & emotional support, but most of all - HOPE to families.
LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES
1. “I asked Luke just a few years ago to move his tongue if the Saints are going to win, and he moved his tongue. That was the beginning of my realization and others that Luke is in there, that Luke understands.”
2. “When Luke is not engaged or he’s unable to open his eyes, the therapist will ask Luke, ‘Can you do this for Drew? Can you do this for the Saints?’ And he’ll try because he heard the words Drew Brees.”
3. “March is an important month for everyone that associates with brain injuries because what people don’t realize is brain injuries among children is more prevalent than anyone could ever imagine.”
4. “5 inspirations from Luke: Find your passion, don’t ever quit, lean on friends, family, coaches, siblings, counselors, make good choices, and No. 5 is have faith.”
5. “Although I never dreamed that my son would be unable to talk, unable to play sports, I also know that he is making an impact on so many thousands of people all over the world.”
6. “I have two choices - one is to sulk and lay in bed, and two is to make a difference and give Luke the best opportunity for life that we can. I will never stop helping others until I take my last breath.”
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