WCCO Reporter Bill Hudson was knocked off the air after trying to take slap shot on his brother's backyard skating rink.
Hudson says he went for a skate on a rink in his brother’s backyard. A new pair of lighter, faster, unfamiliar skates surprised him as he stepped on the ice.
“I remember taking a puck out of the net, taking a slap shot from center ice towards the net, and falling over backward. And I remember I hit really hard,” Hudson said.
He lost consciousness. He was rushed to the emergency room, where a doctor told him he suffered a concussion, his fourth.
“You hear that repetitive concussions, they’re cumulative, they build. And I wonder if that didn’t have something to do with the severity of this one. It was much more severe than any of the previous concussions,” Hudson said.
He experienced sensitivity to light. He couldn’t look at the computer or his phone. He was nauseous. His balance was off. Still, he expected to bounce back.
“I remember emailing our news director and assistant news director saying ‘I’ll see you in a few days,’ never thinking it could be three weeks before I could be back to work, be myself,” Hudson said.
Doctors cleared Hudson to return to work three weeks after his concussion.
“To be able to go out and actually do something, produce a story, was wonderful. I got a story on the air that first Friday I came back,” Hudson said.
The veteran reporter has been back at WCCO for two weeks now. Some days there are set backs, when he stares at the computer screen too long. But he’s getting there.
At home, he continues his therapy daily with the help of his wife. More than anything, he wants to feel like himself again. Doing the things he enjoys.
“I want people to know how quickly this happens and it can change your life like that, and how frustratingly difficult it is to bounce back to feel normal again,” Hudson said.
Hudson will likely continue physical therapy through the beginning of April. Doctors said he should be back to himself and feeling really good in another three weeks. And he will be able to get back on the ice, from now on, always wearing a helmet.