Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Former NFL lineman George Visger career was cut short by concussions.
So he comes to Sacramento’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic for treatment of the holes in his brain caused by head trauma from hits during his career.
“You know, what the NFL’s been doing for years, it’s no different then big tobacco,” said Visger. “You know there’s nothing wrong with our product, its not damaging. And they should be held criminally liable for all these deaths.
Visger in 1980 was a 49er.
He believes that Junior Seau’s apparent suicide is the result of brain damage caused by repeated hits to the head.
It’s the kind of result, UC Davis researcher Dr. Bennet Omalu has presented to congress.
“With time it will cause permanent irreversible brain damage,” said Omalu.
It is repeated head trauma that killed former Steeler Mike Webster and led former Bear Dave Duesron to commit suicide, leaving a note for doctors to use his brain for research.
In his early 50′s Visger is already suffering from dementia. But he’s discovered oxygen therapy is helping his recovery.
The large cylinder tube that holds a patient kind of has a sci-fi look to it, but this is what Visger does as often as he can. Inside a chamber there’s 100 percent oxygen, Visger’s damaged cells are recovering.
It’s the type of treatment he believes would have helped Webster, Duerson and now Seau. And, it’s the type of treatment he believes is saving him.
Now a star player’s apparent suicide, the game’s celebrated hits, is getting another hard look.
“I pray to god this may be the tipping point,” said Visger.