Wash. boy's case may lead to nationwide sports concussion laws

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 1, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 1 at 6:34 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Victor Lystedt coaches from the sidelines, like he used to do on the football field.

"Good job, stand up strong," says Lystedt, pushing his son to go further, move faster as he learns to walk again at his weekly water therapy session.

This isn't a game. At 17-years-old Zachery Lystedt is learning  to walk again following a devastating concussion on the football field four years ago.

 "He was kept alive by the Lord for a reason and that reason was to touch other people," said Victor.

Because of Zachery, Washington and Oregon were the first states in the nation last year to pass laws requiring doctor's approval before allowing a player with a head injury back into the game.

"What we have to instill in them is the rest of your life is more important than the contest," said John Miiller with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. He says this law is changing the culture of sports and people are listening.

Monday, a Congressional committee discussed establishing nationwide standards on concussion injuries. 24 other states are also looking at passing similar laws.

"Thousands of lives will be saved because of my law," says Zachery as he wades in the pool.

He still finds it hard to believe that his story has become the catalyst for change. It's been a long and painful road to get here, Zachery takes comfort in knowing that his story will save lives.

"It feels so good. I gotta be honest. It feels good," said Zachery.

 

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