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North Texas Mayor Prepares For Surgery After Concussion

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price’s husband made a 911 call from a bike trail more than a year ago. On the emergency recording you can hear him say, “I’ve got a injured bike rider on the bike trail. She’s unconscious. And this is just west of the Beach Street bridge.”

The mayor’s dented and cracked helmet, after the impact, was a visual indication of how hard a blow to the head she took in the fall. Her injured arm was in a sling for weeks after. But it was what couldn’t be seen that is still bothering the mayor to this day — the result of the concussion she sustained.

“It’s not healed from here back so that my peripheral vision to the right is doubled,” Mayor Price said pointing to the area just below her right eye. “Looking off to the side everything is doubled up on that side.”

Price said not having proper vision makes it difficult when she’s addressing an audience. Since there are usually people on either side of her, at a podium, she is forced to physically turn from one side to the other to see the people she is addressing.

“And its difficult driving because you have to turn your head completely around,” the mayor admitted. “I’ve learned to compensate for it. But it’s very difficult at night when you’re reading, because it tends to move toward the center a little bit when my eyes are tired.”

After more than a year of treatment, Price now has to take a more drastic step to solve her vision problem. “I’m having eye surgery November 13 to correct this peripheral double vision,” she said.

The operation will shorten an eye muscle and hopefully correct the problem. It will be the mayor’s first major surgery — a notion that is causing her some nervousness.

“A little bit,” Price said. “You know, I’m 64-years-old and never had to be knocked out, except a little for a wisdom tooth or things like that. I guess. But, I have great doctors that’ll be taking care of me.”

Price’s doctor says she will be back on the job two or three days after the procedure. But Price says concussion awareness will now be a life-long cause. “I didn’t know you could have this kind of lingering eye problem,” Price said. “But concussions are nothing to be messed with. They’re very serious and you have to be very careful with what you have to do with them and you have to pay attention.”

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