You’ve heard it described before: after an impact, athletes sometimes experience blurred vision, dizziness, headaches or up to 20 other symptoms. Many describe these symptoms as “getting a ding,” or “getting their bell rung,” but these aren’t simple injuries that can be overlooked or walked off. A doctor would call them concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
It’s estimated there’s over 3.8 million brain injuries a year in athletics, and they occur more commonly among children and students than star athletes. The process of safely managing these injuries is multi-layered and complex — continually changing as we learn more about the brain. Through interviews with former professional players, renowned researchers, and top athletic trainers, AETN original documentary “Bell Ringer” — which premieres April 7 — dives into the complexities of the injured brain, explaining not only the effects of concussions, but how to handle them when they occur and the best methods of preventing them altogether.
Featured in the film are former athletes Monte Coleman (Arkansas native, three-time Super Bowl Champion and current University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) football head coach) and Michelle Akers (a two-time Women’s World Cup Champion), both of whom suffered multiple concussions during their careers. Also featured in the film is the story of Zack Towers, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury during a football game that eventually led to his death. His mother Christy Rasico, stepfather Roger Rasico, and brothers Ty and Jon Taylor, all share their personal testimonies in the documentary.