Seau family postpones permanent decision on Junior Seauís brain
Junior Seau’s long-time family chaplain, Shawn Mitchell had previously announced the Seau family’s intention of donating Junior Seau’s brain for research.
“Junior was philanthropic. And he got that from his mom and dad. Their hope is that it can serve athletes down the road.” Shawn Mitchell had said on a previous occasion.
However, a recent announcement by Shawn Mitchell put the brakes on any hasty donation plans.
“The Seau family is currently revisiting several important family decisions and placing them on hold in order to confer with their elders,” Shawn Mitchell said. “They just want to slow down, be sure they’re doing it right.”
In accordance with Samoan culture, the Seau family has decided to receive guidance from its elders on the matter. Hence, the possibility of revealing the circumstances that drove Junior Seau to take his own life lies in the hand of the Junior Seau’s senior family members.
The Samoan culture is founded on 3 key cornerstones: religion, family and music. Family values take-on a vital role in the course of a person’s life. The seniors are the highest ranking individuals in a family circle. They are subject to great respect and have the final say in most important family matters.
Hence it is not surprising that the Seau family has decided to postpone any plans of donating Junior Seau’s brain to outside research institutions.
The medical examiner responsible for Junior Seau’s autopsy had been in-wait since Friday for a response from the Seau family. He hoped they would give a decisive answer regarding donating the headlines-grabbing brain of the late Junior Seau.
Junior Seau was found lifeless at his Oceanside residence on Wednesday. Investigators determined self-inflicted bullet to the chest as the cause of death for the 43-year-old Junior Seau.
However, it didn’t take long for media reports to suggest that depression due to brain trauma drove Junior Seau to commit suicide. They even related the year old David Duerson suicide case with Junior Seau’s situation.
David Duerson’s last request helped in the long-run to shed some light on the condition of his mental state. Researchers determined that Duerson suffered from a neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Former San Diego Chargers teammate, Gary Plummer, estimated that the 20 year NFL veteran linebacker, Junior Seau must have sustained at least 1500 concussions.
Even Junior Seau’s ex-wife chipped-in with her own opinions and perceptions regarding the impact of the repeated blows to his head.
"Of course he had. He always bounced back and kept on playing. He's a warrior,” Junior-Seau’s ex-wife stated. “That didn't stop him. I don't know what football player hasn't. It's not ballet. It's part of the game."
Researchers have hoped that access to Junior Seau’s brain might reveal a few mysteries surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other diseases induced by brain trauma.
Contact sports veterans always face a number of physical health issues into their retirement. But the recently unearthed physiological impact of repetitive concussions has forced NFL to impose stricter safety guidelines.