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Bill O'Brien faces adversity outside Penn State rebuild

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10:44 AM ET 08.25 | Every morning, Bill and Colleen O'Brien know their older son, 10-year-old Jack, will have a seizure when he wakes up. It could last 30 seconds or go on for 30 minutes, necessitating an ambulance trip to the hospital. There may be more seizures during the day, depending on disparate factors like weather patterns and Jack's growth spurts. And when they happen, the O'Briens can do little except to turn their son on his side and wait for the seizure to end. The O'Briens face daunting challenges every day that have nothing to do with scholarship restrictions, a bowl ban or reviving the sullied reputation of the Penn State football program. In a college town where perspective has become a buzz word in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, O'Brien, the Nittany Lions' new coach, and his family have plenty of experience in keeping it.

New York Times

Bill O'Brien, Icon SMI Bill O'Brien, Icon SMI
Comment #1 has been removed
August 25, 2012  10:52 AM ET

Gives me a whole new perspective and appreciation for Bill O'Brien. And we think we have problems.....

August 25, 2012  10:59 AM ET

My niece had a seizure disorder for years. I know that daily uncertainty.

August 25, 2012  11:06 AM ET

Kinda puts not picking up LHN into perspective.

August 25, 2012  11:30 AM ET

The guy must be pretty strong - or daft - to take all this on. Apparently, he's pretty level-headed as opposed to a lot of still nutty PSU fans. Maybe he can lead them out of the wilderness. Meanwhile, may they find strength to deal with a malady affecting their child - a million times worse than one facing a parent.

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #7 has been removed
August 25, 2012  11:56 AM ET

My brother gets seizures every now and again, but nothing like what this kid has to go through. I had no idea his son's medical problems were this bad.

August 25, 2012  12:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

IMO, family members' health issues should be out of bounds for FN threads. Lissencephaly is a rare but really awful neurological disorder. And I think it's usually progressive - will get steadily worse until it eventually wins. Bad stuff. A lot worse than any family medical issues I have to deal with. But I just think these threads are an inappropriate venue for private issues.

That is very sad. And you are right: NYTimes overstepped because the story doesn't really have anything to do with sports.

Comment #10 has been removed
August 25, 2012  12:40 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Telling his story to NYT (to raise awareness and maybe generate research dollars) is one thing. FN throwing private pain out here for us to discuss is quite another. Hopefully no trolls or other [***censored***] comes on the thread with anything inappropriate.

You are quite right.

Comment #12 has been removed
Comment #13 has been removed
August 25, 2012  01:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

If family matters like his son Jack's affliction doesn't keep Coach O'Brien grounded, then nothing will. Blessings to the young lad.

agreed

August 25, 2012  01:40 PM ET

......you win, and people forget. NEXT!

August 25, 2012  02:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

IMO, family members' health issues should be out of bounds for FN threads. Lissencephaly is a rare but really awful neurological disorder. And I think it's usually progressive - will get steadily worse until it eventually wins. Bad stuff. A lot worse than any family medical issues I have to deal with. But I just think these threads are an inappropriate venue for private issues.

Second that!

August 25, 2012  02:12 PM ET

While it's true this story needn't have been made public, maybe it will give the Penn State-rs a reason to embrace having Bill O'Brien as their football coach in the wake of the scandal.

Comment #18 has been removed
August 25, 2012  09:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I'll let that be my segue in signing off to weed the garden and watch the Little League World Series. Slow day, indeed. G'Day, All.

What a game it was! WTG, Goodlettsville, Tennessee!!!

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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