Once in a while I’ll find a great new movie in Netflix
Well last night I found another one
This is a movie inspired by the true story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who contracted an infection that left him blind overnight. With the help and support from his family, mobility coach, coach, teammates, and friends travis helps his team advance to the state playoffs.
After watching the film on Netflix I did some research on Travis Freeman and his best friend Jerry who in the end we find out passed away before the release of the film.
How old was freeman when this all happened?
Freeman was only 12 years old when he went blind.
The headache that started it all
Unlike the movie Freeman actually had a migraine headache for nine straight days. He went to see multiple doctors that prescribed him medication and told him that the pain would eventually go away. It was not until the tenth day when the swelling in his right eye got worse and his eye started burning. He was rushed him to the ER and that’s when they found out he had contracted Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis, a rare and extreme form of a sinus infection. In 70% of those that have contracted this infection die, only 30% survive, but of those that survive a very small percentage have normal brain activity after. Travis was the second case in the world where the infection only affected the eye.
Freeman’s parents asked the Coach to let him be apart of the team again
Freeman’s parents were aware of the love their son still had for football so they asked the coach to let him be apart of the team again, but they didn’t think he was ever going to play. Well, coach Farris had a different plan. If he was going to be apart of the team, he was going to play.
In August of 1994, Freeman became the first blind football player.
Freeman on the field
Although in the movie Freeman was portrayed as a running back who becomes a center after loosing his eye sight, he actually was a lineman and then when he lost his eye sight he moved from tackle to center.
The Coach never shared with officials or the other teams that he was blind they didn’t want Freeman or the team to get any special treatment. They were to be treated like any other team.
Jerry Baker – Alcohol while in school true?
According to Freeman, when Baker and him got to high school Baker “got wrapped up in drugs and alcohol”.
What happened to Jerry Baker ?
After a month after his daughter, Kerry, was born Jerry was involved in a roofing accident that left him paralyzed. According to Freeman, Baker did not take care of himself and died after complication of the accident.
What happened to Ashley?
I’d like to know some more too, but unfortunately it looks like Ashley was just a high school fling of a fictional character added in the filming. Freeman shares in a interview with USA Today that he never had girls chasing him around in high school.
Learn more about Freeman’s story through his autobiography
“Lights Out: Living in a Dark World“
15 Minutes with Travis Freeman
Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time