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Flag Fiasco

Color guard member receives head trauma from flag

Abigail Hurtt, Staff Writer

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It is a cool fall morning and the band is in the parking lot practicing. The band members march in formation while the color guard members stand back practicing their flag tosses. One girl is doing a particularly impressive toss. The flag goes way up in the air and her hands are open and waiting for it to come down, but instead of coming down into her hands, it comes down on her face instead, and she comes crashing down along with the flag.         

This girl is Taylor Pritchett, a junior color guard member. Last Wednesday, what was supposed to be a typical practice turned into a catastrophe. She was hit in the head with a flag, which caused a concussion. A concussion is caused by a mild blow to the head, either with or without loss of consciousness and can include symptoms such as a headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue.    

“I was outside for band and I was doing a strip toss for color guard and I did it really hard and really high, and my friend told me to do it again,” Taylor said. “So I did it again and I caught it and it was great. And she told me to do it again and I didn’t catch it, and it came down and hit me in the nose and mouth region.”

The scene sounds like it could be something out of a movie. Taylor describes it as being fairly gory, which freaked out everyone involved.

“I sank to the ground outside and I didn’t realize my nose was bleeding and it hurt really bad and I looked down at my hands and there was blood everywhere,” Taylor said. “There was just a bunch of blood.”

The adults at Randall responded immediately and all of the focus was on getting Taylor the help immediately.

“I go to the bathroom and some office ladies standing outside of the east came running in,” Taylor recalled. “One of them said she was a registered nurse and yelled at my friends for trying to help. They cleaned off my hands, and my face was still bleeding a lot, so they took me to the nurse.”

In the nurse’s office, Taylor could sense that something was wrong. What she thought was “just a nosebleed” turned out to be a lot more.

“All of the sudden I felt really lightheaded and I told the nurse I thought I needed to sit down and so the nurse came and took my arm and she helped down,” Taylor said. “The next thing I remember I was waking up on the floor and people were trying to pick me up on the ground.”

Because her blood pressure was dangerously low, Taylor’s mother picked her up from school and took her to Urgent Care.

“They took an MRI and found out that it was actually a concussion,” Taylor said. “So, I didn’t get to do color guard for a week after that.”

Taylor’s story is a cautionary tale for everyone involved sports, band, etc. Continue to do what you love, just be extra careful doing it!

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