Anderson student suffers memory loss after football hit

Desmond McLemore suffered severe memory loss after being hit during a football game.

A straight-A student can no longer recognize his own mother after a hard hit in a high school football game.

Angela Burrows' 15-year-old son Desmond McLemore needs around the clock care after the hit in a junior varsity game last week at Anderson High School.

"Never in a million years did I imagine one hit from football would do this," Burrows said.

Desmond, a quarterback, was hit just before halftime.

"The athletic trainer evaluated him and came out of the locker room and told me that I needed to take him to the emergency room," Burrows said.

The trip to the E.R. changed everything. Doctors said Desmond had swelling on his brain and there was damage. Most of his memory was gone and the starting quarterback now has trouble keeping his balance and goes up and down the stairs like a toddler.

His mother hopes it's something doctors can fix.

"They may do some more extensive tests to see if there is any brain damage the MRI is not showing," Burrows said.

As his mother cares for him, Desmond passes time watching cartoons, now barely able to string a sentence together - a far cry from the young athlete interviewed by Eyewitness News in March 2011.

Desmond's mom has little hope her son will return to Anderson High School anytime soon. Although he is just a tenth grader, he is already getting college letters because of his 4.2 grade point average. Ball State invited him to an honor student academy, but his recovery is still unclear.

"He doesn't know people. He doesn't know his home. He doesn't know his bedroom," Burrows said.

They can only take one step at a time to try to get Desmond back to being an active teenager. He has no memory of the hit he took on the football field last Monday and doesn't even remember being a high school football quarterback.

Desmond will undergo more CAT scans on his brain and start rehab in the next two weeks.