WEST SALEM – Tyler Carlson remembers waking up and being shocked to hear what had happened to him.
“I was like ‘a stroke? It’s like, I’m too young for a stroke; that doesn’t make any sense,'” he said. “It’s like 60-year-olds get strokes, not me.”
The 14-year-old, who is a freshman at Northwestern High School in Wayne County, starts as linebacker on the varsity football team. Tyler suffered a stroke following a violent collision on the football field last Friday.
He was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital, where doctors did testing and made a startling discovery.
The stroke has affected Tyler’s balance and ability to swallow, but it has not affected his speech or motor skills. The diagnosis has stunned his classmates and everyone else in the small community of West Salem.
But he isn’t letting this slow him down.
“I’ve been playing football since third grade and I don’t ever plan on stopping,” he said. “I mean stroke, concussion, whatever. I mean, it’s something that I love to do, something that I don’t ever plan to stop doing.”