Community pulls together for local rugby player

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - Ryan Brennan loves rugby so much that he had dreams of playing professional someday but after a serious injury during practice, he’s struggling to just have a normal life.

Two years ago Brennan, 22, was kicked in his brain stem during rugby practice at St. Bonaventure University and suffered a concussion.

After recovering, Brennan returned to the rugby field five months later. But as time went on he noticed something wasn’t right.  Brennan was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Concussion Syndrome. His mother said they tried multiple doctors, but didn’t see improvements in Ryan’s condition until they went to the Carrick Brain Center in Atlanta, Georgia. “They saved his life,” she said.

Colleen’s son was left practically blind from the injury, Colleen said.  He also suffers from insomnia and can’t interpret gravity properly. His symptoms even forced him to drop out of his senior year in college. “It’s sad. His life has been turned upside down,” his mother told News 4.

Chiropractor Dr. Thomas Skraitz trained under Dr. Ted Carrick, the head of the brain center. He explained the center’s use of chiropractic neurology. “The functional neurological assessment is outcome-based or outcome-driven. As you examine someone and determine a weakness in the nervous system then you try to evoke a change through a treatment application,” said Dr. Skraitz. “Then you go right back to that to see if something has changed.”

The specialized treatment is expensive and costs thousands of dollars for a week of treatment. Brennan’s family said they can’t afford more and need financial assistance.  As a result, the young man’s family has put together a fundraiser to help pay for another session of treatment.

“It really feels like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders because Ryan’s just a wonderful kid. He’s really a great kid and it’s just sad. We want to get him back,” said Colleen.

The benefit for Ryan is taking place on Sunday, June 1 from 2 – 7 p.m. It will be held at the Ironworkers Hall, Local 6, at 196 Orchard Park Road in West Seneca. The family is asking for a $20 dollar donation for all those who attend. Donations can also be mailed to Ryan’s Relief, PO Box 93, West Seneca, NY, 14244. For more information about Ryan you can go to this site: www.ryansreliefbenefit.com.

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