High School Sports

Injured Union Mine football player reported battling infection after brain surgery

Nick Brown, a junior varsity football player at Union Mine High School, was one of two players who collapsed after a Friday night game. He remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery Friday night.
Nick Brown, a junior varsity football player at Union Mine High School, was one of two players who collapsed after a Friday night game. He remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery Friday night. Brown family

A Union Mine High School football player remains unconscious at Sutter Roseville Medical Center nearly two weeks after suffering severe head injuries.

In an update on the “Pray for Nick Brown” Facebook page, family said that Brown, a 15-year-old sophomore, continued to show limited response to touch or other stimuli. They said he had developed a fever and doctors had not determined the cause, but they said various infections are fairly common following brain surgery.

“The medical team at Sutter Roseville believes that this infection could be the reason why Nick seems to be taking a little extra time than anticipated to wake up,” his family said in the Facebook post.

Brown and sophomore Justin Schwartz had just finished leading their junior varsity team to a 27-8 win over Foothill High School on Aug. 28 when people noticed something wasn’t quite right. Then Brown passed out, according to El Dorado Union High School District Superintendent Stephen Wehr. He was taken by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Schwartz was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville and later released. He suffered a concussion and a nerve injury to his neck, Wehr said.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office became involved after some students reported that the players may have taken a prescription stimulant, Adderall. The inquiry led to the arrest Aug. 31 of a 17-year-old Union Mine student whom police suspect of furnishing classmates with Adderall. The student, whose name was not released because his age, was taken to El Dorado County juvenile hall. Sheriff’s officials reported that Adderall was found during a search of the youth’s gym locker, backpack and home.

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