Sports

Doctor Whose Story Was Made Into a Movie Testifies in Trial

Testified for young man with ALS, who played college football and is suing the NCAA.


The Washington County (PA) Courthouse has now twice been ground zero in the drama and debate over trauma from sports-related concussions.

In 2014, scenes from the movie "Concussion," starring actor Will Smith were filmed there.

This week, the real-life doctor Smith portrayed testified there in a real-life case.

Will Smith portrayed a character based on Omalu in the movie Concussion.

The Washington Observer-Reporter newspaper reports Dr. Bennet Omalu took the stand Wednesday as a witness in the case of former California University of Pennsylvania linebacker Matthew Onyshko, who is suing the NCAA, claiming they didn't warn him of the risks of playing college football.

At only 38, Onyshko, a former Pittsburgh firefighter, suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He has been watching the proceedings from a wheelchair, and speaks with an eye-controlled communication device.

Matt Onyshko is married with 2 children.

Omalu gets credit for first connecting the trauma of playing professional football with neurodegenerative disease. Since then, he has testified in hundreds of civil cases.

Omalu testifed in this case that ALS is among the diseases that can be triggered by concussion-related brain trauma. He told the jury that most high school football players experience 520 hits to the head per season, but in college that rises to 1,354. Even one hit, he explained, can be damaging, because the brain is especially susceptible to injury and it doesn't repair itself.

The Observer Reporter says Omalu, who is a motivational speaker in addition to his work as an expert and medical doctor, at one point turned to the jury and stated something we all can learn from:

"The most powerful equity you have in your life is time, if you manage it well."

Testimony continues in the trial, which began May 1.

The Onyshko family has a GoFundMe page. Click here if you'd like to help them.

(Images: Biography.com , YouTube , GoFundMe page)

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

How Saving A Church Is Saving Lives Too

A couple bought an abandoned church and turned it into a community center. What they've created is so much bigger.

They're Saluting Our Veterans Every Day of the Year

Meet the Pittsburghers who are making sure our returning vets have jobs, homes and food, and find out how you can help.

How Goats And The Volunteers Who Love Them Are Saving A Popular Park

They're keeping invasive plants from taking over Pittsburgh's Frick Park by doing what comes naturally. For the goats at least!

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Popular
Recent
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.