The National Digest

‘My World Just Crumbled’: the Untold Wreckage of Concussions in Surfing

It looks like the sea is aiming at her.

The wave lifts, lunges and detonates and Mercedes Maidana lies on her board as she is engulfed and vanishes, sucked into a booming, churning cloud.

She is rescued and returns to shore on a jet ski, life vest bulging under her wetsuit. A red rivulet drips down her face from a cut above her left eye but she gives a thumbs up and smiles for the camera, blinking the salty spray and the blood out of her eyes.

Maidana started vomiting that night. She was diagnosed with a mild concussion after a scan at an emergency room and told to rest. She returned home to Hawaii with a black eye. A few days later her mind and her body began to fail.

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