Iowa football player fights for his life following brain surgery, and his family blames in-team bullying for his injuries

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

An Iowa football player is fighting for his life after suffering from a blood clot near his brain stem and other head injuries. Yet, in this case, football may not actually be the culprit that leaves his life at risk. Rather, his mother is claiming that his injuries were likely caused by bullying from his football teammates.

Bedford Iowa football player Kacey Strough —
Bedford Iowa football player Kacey Strough —

As reported by the Des Moines Register, Omaha ABC affiliate KETV and other area outlets, 16-year-old Bedford (Iowa) High freshman Kacey Strough underwent brain surgery after suffering from complications related to a blood clot that had formed near his brain stem. That intensive surgery lasted for more than eight hours and led to an induced coma, which the freshman will have to endure for as long as a month to try and help him stabilize physically.

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Rather than traditional football contact, Strough's injury may have been caused by in-team bullying. According to Strough's step-grandmother, Chris Strough, the teenager was repeatedly hit in the head with a football by teammates in mid-October. The freshman reportedly complained about the attacks to a coach, but the coach failed to intervene, leaving an opening for the bullying to continue.

Days later, Strough began to show signs of significant head trauma. First he allegedly began suffering from severe headaches, with speech problems and, finally, significant paralysis of the left side of his body following. Throughout it all, the younger Strough was repeatedly taken to the doctor, but nothing improved his condition until he finally reached a threshold where the surgical procedure became necessary.

While the Strough family is adamant that the injury was brought on by team bullying, the Bedford school district remains hesitant, with the superintendent announcing that an investigation is ongoing, but warning that any discpline would likely be delayed until after Kacey Strough recovered from his induced coma.

That provides little respite to the teen's relatives, who have been all to happy to sound the trumpet of concern over the actions that allegedly led to their son's dire condition.

"This kid's going to pay for the rest of his life for something an adult could've stopped," Chris Strough said.

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