But as fall continued on, old worries and behavior aberrations began to crop up. On a family Thanksgiving vacation to Hawaii, James at times seemed happy and other times seemed depressed. His mother worried anew.
A few days after returning to school, he got in trouble over a scuffle with another boy. He was upset at himself, his mom said, but he and his mom talked about it. It would be one of the last conversations they ever had. Bleacher report says that his mom “told him the kid who approached him was probably jealous of him and that James should act with kindness toward him. James agreed: ‘He probably is jealous of me.’ Courtney asked him why. James said: ‘Because I am smart, funny and people like me.'”
Bleacher Report details what happened next that night, November 30, 2016:
“Later that night, James came downstairs to talk to his mom again, asking about her work, her upcoming projects. He went upstairs to go to bed but then came down again pretty quickly. He said he needed a glass of water. Courtney reminded him to take his medication and his melatonin, so he could get his sleeping schedule back on track. He nodded his head, finishing his glass.
‘Goodnight,’ she said. ‘I love you.’
‘I love you, too.’
James went upstairs and never came back down.”
James died by suicide that night. He was 13 years old.
Parents need to learn about concussion care and spread awareness
Though it’s been over two years since James’ death, his family’s grief still feels fresh. They have thrown themselves into trying to find answers, and have found many, many cases where mental illness in teens ensued very soon after a concussion. They share James’ story as much as they can to spread awareness, and have created the James Henry Ransom Foundation to raise money for other teens and adolescents and families struggling with mental illness.
Moms and dads, concussions happen, and the fact is, most do not result in a traumatic brain injury as severe as James’…but it’s still very important to watch for changes in your child in the weeks following a concussion. Do your part to learn about concussions and concussion care, especially if your child plays a contact sport. You can read more at KidsHealth.org. Let’s honor James Ransom’s memory and his parents efforts by making ourselves aware and spreading the word about the impact concussions can have on our kids mental health as well as their physical well-being.