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I’m a miracle: How ex-Husky Darin Harris has learned to live with his traumatic brain injury

In this episode of Brain Injury Today, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington Executive Director Deborah Crawley speaks with former UW football player and BIAWA board member Darin Harris about his journey following a severe brain injury that nearly killed him. Darin gets candid about his struggle with symptoms like depression, how he has maintained a positive connection to football, and the difficulties of coping with both a brain injury and systemic racism as a member of the Black community.
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Executive Producer: Greg Mollner / Producer: Caroline Halter
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In this episode of Brain Injury Today, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington Executive Director Deborah Crawley speaks with former UW football player and BIAWA board member Darin Harris about his journey following a severe brain injury that nearly killed him. Darin gets candid about his struggle with symptoms like depression, how he has maintained a positive connection to football, and the difficulties of coping with both a brain injury and systemic racism as a member of the Black community.

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Huskies safety Darin Harris suffered a traumatic brain injury during a football game for the Huskies. Harris’s life would never be the same. The doctors told him he’d never play football again, so he sought a second opinion. Problem was, that opinion was the same; he would have to quit the game.

Although, “It’s been difficult,” he said. “Being an athlete and being a person who says something and does it, finding out that you’re not invincible hurts the most. You’re doing stuff and you’re at your pinnacle in terms of what you can do physically, and you feel sharp mentally…and then that stuff changes like that.” Harris has rebuilt his life.

Harris has also helped raise awareness outside the state to help pass what is commonly referred to as the Zackery Lystedt Law, named after the Tahoma High School player, that suffered a traumatic brain injury playing football two years before Harris’s injury. Like Harris, Lystedt has now devoted his time to support brain injury awareness, advocating legislation to make sure any player suspected of suffering a concussion is checked out by a licensed practitioner before receiving medical clearance to continue playing. It’s now the law in all fifty states.

Working full-time at PSE, Harris devotes a lot of his spare time as a board member of the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (biawa.org) and has just served as Past President of the Alliance. Coaches football, mentors’ young men and is a father of a beautiful daughter.

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This episode of Brain Injury Today was produced and edited by Goal17Media.com and is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

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Darin Harris LinkedIn
Ford Sports Performance
Seattle Times
University of Washington Athletics
DAWGMAN – Harris Opens Up About TBI
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Student Athletes Healthcare Web Clip (HBO Sports) – YouTube
 
Brain Injury Organizations
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA)
United State Brain Injury Alliance
Brainline

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