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WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski suffered from CTE when he killed himself

28 June, 2018, 01:00 | Author: John Swanson
  • Tyler Hilinski's Parents Say QB Had CTE, Brain of 65-Year-Old at Time of Death

Hilinski is seen in a photo posted to the Washington State University Athletic Department's website. Probably. Was that the only thing that contribue to his death?

Mark and Kym Hilinski told Sports Illustrated in a new documentary, chronicling Tyler's death and the aftermath, that researchers at the Mayo Clinic offered to examine their son's brain. "That was hard to hear".

In the documentary, Kym said, "Did football kill Tyler?" The parents said weren't any "verbal signs" from their son that he was suffering, to them or anyone else at Washington State.

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Hilinski, who passed away January 16, had the lowest level of CTE, per a report from Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated.

The telltale sign of CTE is a build up of tau proteins in brain tissue, which cause the brain to shrink. Q13 reports that police were called to Hilinski's apartment after he didn't show up for practice that day. The Mayo Clinic approached the family about doing an autopsy on Tyler, a choice that couldn't have been easy for the parents.

"We were in complete shock", Mark Hilinski said. "We wanted to know everything we could and find out anything we could, of course". His mother said he was quiet, reserved but always happy.

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"How in the world am I going to get through next year and then four more years and not worry every single time my son gets hit or taken down?"

The family has started the Hilinski's Hope Foundation. "What we're trying to do for student-athletes is we're trying to fund programs that support them and their mental health", Kym told Kotb. "There's not enough out there for these attractive athletes that give of themselves to their colleges, but their minds aren't taken care of".

Hilinski was a beloved player on the university's football team and member of the Coug community, with Washington State football coach Mike Leach remembering Hilinski in a statement following his death as "an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it".

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Important note: If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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