WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — It’s a cool October night and Cody Lehe sits with a pen in hand, signing a copy of his book. But Cody’s story really begins back in 2006.
It was a sectional football game and Cody was playing for the Frontier Falcons. During the game, Cody took a hard hit to the head and immediately, he noticed something didn’t feel right.
“He did have some symptoms of a headache and sensitivity to light,” said Jim Cooley, Cody’s physical therapist.
Cody and his family took a trip to the emergency room that night, but the tests came back clear.
“The CAT scan didn’t show anything, and once Cody heard that it was clear, he took that as a sign that everything was OK,” said Cooley.
But everything wasn’t OK.
A few days later, Cody went back to practice where he sustained a light hit to the head. That hit changed his life forever.
“That was enough to kind of set off a cascade of events that led to his traumatic brain injury,” said Cooley.
For the last several years, Cody has been working with Cooley. Together, the pair work on everything from coordination, to muscle memory, to speech.
But it was an idea Cooley had that took the pair on a journey they’d soon never forget. They were going to write a book about Cody’s story.
“I started to put some writing together and eventually it kind of grew and I was going to make a short story about it,” said Cooley.
That short story grew to a nearly 150-page book titled, “The Impact of Cody Lehe.” It’s something Cody said he never thought would become so popular.
“I was just stunned, because nothing that I ever do makes the news,” said Lehe.
Cody was wrong. On this October night, dozens of people came out to purchase a signed copy of his story.
“He’s done a lot of signing which just makes his day,” said Cody’s mother, Becky Lehe. “You know, it’s nice. People come up and he signs the book and we talk about football and his injury.”
That injury is something Cody said he hopes nobody should ever have to endure. Through this book, he hopes to pass on a simple message to athletes around the world.
“Make sure that if you guys are ever feeling hurt or have a really bad headache, you guys don’t play anymore,” said Cody.
“The Lehe family doesn’t want anyone to stop playing football,” said Cooley. “They love their Colts, they love their Falcons. They just want athletes to be aware of the symptoms of a concussion and treat it seriously so nobody has to go through what Cody.”
Proceeds from the book will go to concussion awareness. Cooley said they’ve also already donated about 50 books to local schools for education purposes.
“The Impact of Cody Lehe” can be purchased at Barnes & Noble retailers and on Amazon.