Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, who played 13 years in the NFL, spent more than 10 years in pain after he retired because of concussions he suffered on the field. After recently getting treatments for his brain injuries, Kosar feels considerably better. He intends to work with the NFL to help other retired players who may be suffering from head injuries find better treatment options like the one he found.
Kosar met Dr. Rick Sponaugle, after he was “desperate for help” after “tapping into numerous medical resources with limited results.” Sponaugle has been described as a “pioneer” in brain therapies.
After Kosar’s playing career, he was a mess:
The ringing and buzzing in his head never subsided. Kosar couldn’t sleep. He slurred his words. His life, troubled by financial woes and a failed marriage, was almost unlivable. He was desperate, masking his misery with medication and trying to pretend things weren’t as bad as they seemed.
Kosar told ESPN after treatments that increased blood flow to the brain, he feels 20 years younger and has lost nearly 40 pounds.
“It was a gift from God to find this and feel like this,” Kosar told the network, opening up publicly for the first time about his affliction. “I see all the symptoms going away.”
Sponaugle “compared the trauma Kosar experienced on the football field to that of someone involved in a head-on, car collision.”
He said Kosar put his “head through a windshield” every Sunday.
Kosar has “contacted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and told him about Sponaugle, whose complex treatments to improve blood flow in the brain include intravenous therapies along with dietary supplements.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the NFL was having discussions with Sponaugle.
Kosar, though, has no regrets about playing.
“The head-to-head contact was coached,” he said. “That’s the way you were taught to hit the quarterback.”
Kosar said he was dear friends with recent former NFL players–like Junior Seau–who committed suicide and said a lot of others who suffered from concussions “are losing hope.”
He said a lot of people “who are dealing with issues and pain and stuff” do not know “there is hope for them.” Kosar said he hopes players who are suffering know they may have an “an option and something that can genuinely help them get better in a short amount a time.”
“You don’t have to live the rest of your life in pain and agony,” Kosar said.