Fortuna Football Player Hospitalized With Apparent Brain Injury During Friday’s Game

Bailey Foley

Bailey Foley

Bailey Foley, a Fortuna High School football player, is in a drug induced coma. Friday, during the team’s first away game at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, he began to suffer seizures. Doctors believe he received a brain injury.

“It wasn’t one play but he had been taking hits,” his mother, Tara Johnson, said. Johnson, who wasn’t at the game was told that Foley began by saying that he wasn’t feeling very good. “He got a headache and got sick and started having seizures,” she explained.

Johnson and Bailey’s father, Sage Foley rushed to his side when they were told he was injured. Several other family members including a cousin and his grandfather are there also. Johnson said, “A couple of good friends are insisting on staying here until he wakes up and gets better. It is nice to have a little support.”

This Sunday morning, Bailey is getting an MRI.  “We’ll have [the results] soon,” his mother explained. “All his vitals are good. His heart rate is steady. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Johnson said that she doesn’t have insurance for Bailey nor is he on MEDI-CAl. “He has absolutely nothing,” she worried. “I know we had to sign some waivers [before Bailey began playing football.” But she isn’t sure what that means.

To help, Johnson’s sister set up a GoFundMe account for their expenses but she isn’t even sure how that works as she has been concentrating on her son.

Right now she’s just trying to make sure they follow the doctor’s orders. “They really want him to be rest,” she said. And, she’s focused on making sure he gets the quiet he needs.





  • My grandson plays football, I worry about safety in such a physical sport, but he loves to play. Hope this young man gets the help he needs and has a speedy recovery.
    The hospital may waive or reduce the charges through a charity if they qualify, talk with the hospital. St Joes waived an $1,800 bill for me.
    Sign up for medi-cal..

  • charles engebretson

    Get better young man..the human brain can do amazing things…let us know about the go fund me

    • If you click the red link, you can go the GoFundMe.

      • Kim Kemp, so sorry about this injury. As the mother of a severely brain damaged son (impaled his brain in an auto accident) I have seen miraculous things happen! It was a long road, I was told it would be a marathon, it was several. My son has made a remarkable recovery, albeit a slightly different person than before. A kind of metamorphosis occurred. He’s on seizure medication and has aphasia. But he’s doing great! The hospital staff will show you the way, the financial department will get the ball rolling and knows what he can qualify for. There’s a wonderful rehabilitation facility in Santa Clara if needed. We had the best therapy at Mercy Outpatient in Sacramento. I feel he will be ok after the swelling goes down. Give him time, take a deep breath, grab a good notebook for all the information and take a few walks. God Bless miracles do happen, I know, my son is one. Message any time.

  • You can apply for emergency medical and if he qualifies tggey will cover retroactive i think! Its worth checking into!

  • Cannabis Cannabis Cannabis.
    Please do some research on the NFL players speaking out on the prevalence of TBI and the only cure they’ve found. One the NFL wants NOTHING to do with.. lest Budweiser pulls their Superbowl Ads.

    • Ugh. Another stoner with sage advice.

      Why would you allow your child to play a sport without insurance? Why did the school allow it -?

      • “A positive THC screen is associated with decreased mortality in adult patients sustaining TBI.” -snip

        I read PubMed for fun. Don’t mean to hurt your battered sensibilities.. but Knowledge is Pain. Call it Growing Pains.
        This is for his parents.

        From the NIH:

        This research is probably most advanced in Israel.

      • It’s just a bill that can be paid over time , no worries , that’s why us parents work, just get him fixed .

      • Dont ugh unles ur ughable

        Ugh yourself! A former NFL player has a lawsuit against jeff sessions right now regarding cannabis regulations. You can literally find hundreds of articles on football and cannabis, they often call it hemp in the sports sections. Please do some research.
        And please take the time to read about the differences between CBD and THC, as well as the different forms of THC. You wouldnt give a child a high THC strain, and its been shown over and over that veterans with PTSD need extremely high doses of THC for effectiveness. It differs dramatically. I met a young man who served two tours in Iraq and was hit by IED, he was on 37 medications and got off them all using cannabis. Is he just some stupid stoner sage to you?

        Cannabis helps brain issues, if your child had 500 seizures a week and a small dose of non-psychoactive cannabis brought it down to one a week, would you condemn that?

        These are real situations. Israel is the leading researcher in the world on cannabis, look it up,they proved that it helped heal broken bones even. Since we give them more money than any other country, i bet our tax dollars paid for some of that research!
        The whole stoner thing is only a part of the cannabis world, and has been capitalized on for a reason. Beyond the medical uses, it can supply some of the strongest fiber for boat ropes (turkey and china are making a killing on hemp rope)&made into paper, clothes, etc, etc. It has seeds that are good for you&can be made into oil thats good for us healthwise and can also be used as bio fuel&plastics. Pretty much could replace petroleum, thats one of the reasons its illegal. Hell our first flag was on hemp, and what about the ole grow hemp for the war campaign??

    • What a stupid time for your political ranting! Is dope really that important to you?

    • Can’t hurt – CBD;s especially

  • Applying for Medical Cal is easy

    Please have the parents apply for Medi-Cal ASAP. It can be approved retroactively (so if they apply tomorrow all his medical bills from this incident can be covered). The income limits for dependent children are pretty high. They can call and apply over the phone at 877-410-8809.

  • Get him down to UCSF ASAP
    if you have to spend your last penny…. we pray all goes ok

  • Can’t say it enough. Emergency MEDI-CAL! I had a very bad life threatening injury 2 years ago. No insurance and had to be life flighted to Sacramento, ICU and inducted coma for 2 weeks. The bills were payed. This is why we pay taxes. I thank everyone for helping me and this young man needs our help.

  • Ucsf is by far the best hospital in northern California

    • UCSF! Especially for prostate…In Eureka they will surgically leave you incontinent & unerect, but not at UCSF. Hopefully this boy will recover and play a different sport. Being manly is being a stand up guy to your family & friends, and being a good father, stepfather, husband & beyond. Being brain damaged while playing with a leather ball for high school glory is 😐.

  • Oh no.I’ll be praying for you Bailey.

  • Please read this if TBI is a concern of yours:

    That’s the John Hopkins report using NFL incidences of repercussions (dementia, depression, and suicide included. There is a direct correlation to High School athletes experiencing the same outcomes.
    (There are many, many more reputable studies and reports online.)

    I am so very sorry that this has happened; and I can certainly relate.
    Three months ago, my family in Montana experienced the sudden and inexplicable suicide of my 18 year old cousin, a quarter-back on the local High School team throughout his schooling. The surprise, pain, and subsequent rage is still fresh and raw.
    I sincerely hope for a positive outcome on Bailey’s plight, and for Strength and Healing to come to his family.

    The effects of Traumatic Brain Injury are serious and preventable, at least for High School athletes; and I certainly hope that parents, coaches, and School Boards will take a deeper look at their sports’ programs and the associated risks to our children.

  • Such helpful advice. I’m so sorry for your cousin may he R.I.P.

  • Hope he gets better st.jose has good DR.ERS as for the Bill that’s illrelivent hope this young man gets the best treatment he can get

  • I would never let my child play full-contact American Football. And, I’m Satan.

    • Satan sounds like a promotion for you! Should n’t we all show some love and compassion rather than preaching politics? Satan sounds like a good name for you, or maybe even a promotion!

  • Prayers for your son. I always thought wavers meant they weren’t responible but when a school has a sport they should be some what for at least football.

  • Ambulance took way too long; gate should have already been opened by time they got there. Moments count and Cardinal Newman should pay a significant portion of the bills at least.

  • My Son was hit head on laat September in A Pop Werner Football game. He was 9 3/4. His Team played against Del Norte. It was an illegal play, the boy was over twice the size as my boy. When my Son was hit, he blackd out, his eyes started shaking, and his entire arm was twitching. I took him to the hospital-He remained there all day. He had Optical seizures all day, and for weeks afterwards. He has severe headaches, his eyes hurt him constantly, and he periodically has twitching in his arm-seizures. He can never play Football again, or any contact Sport. The worst part about this story is that the player from the other team who headbutted my Son was told to do that play by a Coach from his team. What was the point, they were winning anyway. The EMT, stated she heard the Coach say-Take him out. These kids are learning at a very young age that it is OK to illegally harm sombody, and then that Mentality follows them through the years. It has been almost a year and My Son has to see specialist abd was held back in school due to loss of Memory. This is nothing to fool around with. Now there is Brutality towards players in High School. I pray this High School Teen heals completely. What is scarry is that this type of injury is happening at every game in every age. At some point There will be NO MORE FOOTBALL at any age.

  • I wish the very best outcome for this young man. Thank goodness for the forms of “socialized medicine” we do have in this country. Let’s unify and advocate for more so nobody has to go without!

  • ConcernedFormerAthlete

    I hope and pray for a full and complete recovery for Bailey Foley. A brain injury can have life altering repercussions.
    The only possible silver lining, bright-hope, here is that Bailey is incredibly lucky that the team was playing in Santa Rosa, so he was able to be transported to a trauma center within a matter of minutes. Minutes matter in a TBI. If this had happened in Fortuna he would have had to have been medivac-ed to Santa Rosa (or Redding), a process which could have taken hours.

    I can’t help but be concerned and deeply disturbed by this quote—-“Johnson said that she doesn’t have insurance for Bailey nor is he on MEDI-CAl. “He has absolutely nothing,” she worried. “I know we had to sign some waivers [before Bailey began playing football.” But she isn’t sure what that means.” ——-
    To be clear, I am not casting blame for this horrible and tragic accident…
    I am dismayed that an athlete was playing football without medical insurance and worried about how many other student athletes may be doing the same. I hold BOTH the FUHS Administration and student athletes’ parents responsible and accountable for this, as both have a duty to care for and ensure the safety of these CHILDREN.

    When I played sports at Fortuna High I remember that we were required to have a medical physical prior to the season starting (EVERY YEAR) and we were required to provide proof of medical insurance. If you did not turn in those forms you could not participate on any team, period. So I wondered how it would be possible that a student athlete would somehow end up in a situation where his mother is saying he has no medical insurance, and that she doesn’t understand the forms she signed… How did this happen? Who was looking out for Bailey?

    So I looked a few things up.

    Per the Fortuna High website, this is the student packet ALL athletes’ parents are required to review and complete. Athletes ARE still required to have a physical, and it asks for insurance information.

    BUT further research revealed that a few things have changed since my high school days. In 2008 the California Education Code was changed to require schools to offer medical insurance, for purchase by student athletes if those athletes do not have their own insurance coverage. Either way, the student-athlete MUST have insurance in order to join an athletic team and the parents would be required to have been involved at some point, as a minor cannot legally sign a contract for medical care or insurance.
    California Education Code Article 3. Insurance For Athletic Teams 32220-32224

    So…if the school administration did not ensure that Bailey Foley was covered by medical insurance (either individually or through a school offered policy) then there is a high likelihood that the school may be held liable for his medical bills. I would also expect that the school will be (should be) immediately doing an audit of the student files for all Fortuna High athletes, to verify that every single one has insurance information on file. Athletes without medical insurance should be prepared to be benched or cut, per state law.

    I hope this tragic accident is a wake up call for both the school administration and parents of all student athletes. If a student athlete does not have medical insurance, their parents need to get them insurance, NOW.

    ***Also, a quick web search reveals athlete information, and football specific information, used at other high schools…and the difference between FUHS and others is notable…
    FUHS needs to step up their game and update their packets to more fully address the specific injury and liability issues inherent in football (as well as other sports).
    (Here are just 2 examples…but many can be found easily online)

    • Thank you for the information. At this stage, all that matters is he gets good care and recovers quickly. Worry about the money for his care later.

      My prayers are with the family.

  • Fed up with schools

    Good luck getting any of the school in Humboldt to pay.. my daughter slip off the school years ago and they wouldn’t pay the hospital bill.. CHP told me that when a bus is in route they have insurance but not at a bus stop. . Then I was told that’s why we give parents insurance forms to fill out and pay .. I know another couple who’s kid got hurt on the playground bars during school.. same result that I got.. schools tell children they are responsible for them during and until they get home from school.. what a crock of bull

  • Thank you all for your support! Our family appreciates every prayer and good thought. Bailey has pneumonia at the moment and will continue to be sedated until this passes.

  • Certainly everyone knows about this condition by now, but just in case:
    TBI and CSE are synonymous with CSE being the more specific case

    Probably everyone saw the film “Concussion” already, but if not, it’s a good one:

    Hang in there….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *