by: Tony Thomas Updated:
ATLANTA - The nearly fatal injury of a local high school football player has led to the design of a new product that could save thousands of lives.
The teen's former assistant football coach has formed a company and is looking for investors to bring the product to market. Mike Massey says the Halo-One Impact Detection device will save lives and make sure the same type of head injury that occurred to his player doesn't happen to others.
In a video marketing the device, Massey stands on the edge of the North Forsyth High football field looking down on where lineman Josh Haddock collapsed in August 2010.
"On this field two lives were changed, Josh Haddock and myself," Massey said. When I got up to the top of the hill, the scene I saw I will never forget. Josh was laying on a gurney in a convulsive state."
After brain surgery and months of rehab, Josh would survive.
"I feel great. I got hired as a personal trainer." Haddock told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.
But a few months ago, Haddock called his coach, saying he wanted to play college football. Inspired, his former coach promised he'd find a way to give him that chance.
"Going onto the next level, I realize, can mean so much to someone, so if we can help just one kid then I think it would be all worth it in the end." Haddock said.
Coach Massey formed a company, Pro-Tech Armor, and has developed the Halo-One device. He says it could prevent tens of thousands of sports injuries each year.
"You just put it on your head and you wear it," Massey said.
The company believes the product has wider uses than just in football helmets.
"We're trying to make something that is simpler, small, something that can be put into the headband, your ball cap. Your kids' bicycle helmet," said Pro-Tech Armor's Rob Attaway.
The device instantly measures the impact of a hit to the head or neck. A row of lights attached to the back of a football helmet, bike helmet or headband lights up when the impact is great enough to cause a concussion.
"The technology has finally caught up with the sport," Massey said.
Massey said other companies are developing similar devices, but they run at a thousand bucks or more. He hopes to market his under $70 a unit.
"We want to make it affordable so not only the All-American can have it but also your 6-year-old can go out and play a sport and a mom and dad can feel confident," he said.
Massey hopes with investors, the company can take the Halo-One to market and he can realize his dream of keeping another coach from having to see a player collapse on the field from a head injury.
"I know what I saw and I know what can happen," Massey said.
"And you made a promise?" Thomas asked.
"I made a promise. Exactly," Massey replied.
"Had something like this at the time it might not have ended like it had and I might be off playing college football somewhere," Haddock told Thomas.
For more information about the company, visit www.protecharmor.com