HORSHAM Demons ruckman Billy Carberry praised his club, its trainers and Ambulance Victoria for how they handled his second concussion in three seasons on Saturday.
The 21-year-old had to be assisted from the ground after hitting his head hard against the ground in an otherwise inconspicuous contest against Ararat.
He was taken directly to the change rooms, supported by two trainers, where he waited for paramedics to arrive at Alexandra Oval.
“They rushed me to the Ballarat Base Hopsital and I spent the night there,” he said.
“I had some scans and some other tests, as well as neck checks done before being let out of hospital at 9.30am on Sunday.”
Carberry said he could not remember much of Saturday but had been told there was urgency to get him to hospital.
He said this was because he had wanted to throw up which could have indicated even more serious damage.
“I asked the question about when I could get back to playing but they indicated it came down to how I was feeling and I how my body was feeling,” he said.
“You never want to miss too many games of football but I will make sure I’m alright.”
Carberry suffered his first concussion during the 2016 Wimmera league season in a game against Nhill. In that game he was on the end of an errant elbow to the head.
“I was out before I hit the ground in that game and then hit my head awkwardly as well,” he said.
“I ended up having fits and seizures as well.”
As a result, he was on the sidelines for more than six weeks, lost his driver’s licence and was off work a number of weeks.
“I didn’t realise how much of an affect a simple knock to the head could have,” he said.
“Whenever you get a knock to the head, the best thing to do is always talk to whoever you are with because it’s not something you can just brush aside.”
He said that after the concussion he had tried to train the following week but after a few laps ended up back in changerooms.
“The trainers virtually had to hold me up against the wall because I was going to faint again,” he said.
“So even exercising a week after the kind of pressure that is put on your brain is huge.
“There needs to be an awareness out there – the brain is incredibly sensitive and you have to take care of it.”
While Carberry has changed how he will approach his return after his latest concussion, he will attack the contest in just the same manner he always has once back on the field.
“It’s in the back of your mind when you first come back but if you go out there worried about getting hurt you probably shouldn’t be out there,” he said.
“If I can’t attack the football, get it off the ground and dish it off to my teammates then I don’t think I’m all that much use anyway.”