Winston-Salem, NC -- Matt Gfeller's parents are using education in their son's memory to teach others the dangers of brain injury.
Gfeller was 15 years-old and a rising sophomore at RJ Reynolds High School when he suffered a fatal blow to the head in a Friday night football game against Page High. Gfeller was on life support for two days. Doctors said he died from a torn blood vessel that caused brain swelling.
Matt's parents, Bob and Lisa, spoke with CBS News' Doctor Jennifer Ashton in a story that aired Monday morning.
Ashton focused on two studies released Monday by The American Academy of Pediatrics claiming the number of concussions suffered by children in sports is on the rise.
One study found that from 1997 through 2007, emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 - 13 years-old had doubled and concussions jumped 200 percent among kids ages 14-19.
Bob told Ashton the night before his son's last game, they hugged and prayed for safety on the field.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I think that our son was at risk of being killed playing football in high school," Bob Gfeller recalled.
The Gfellers' are rebounding the the loss and have founded a Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center in Matt's memory at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Lisa said it "sort of helps his spirit live on it we take on the role of awareness and prevention and treatment."
At the Gfeller Center, healthy athletes are put through mental exams and balance tests prior to any injuries. The results are used to reveal important clues.
The Reynolds football team underwent the testing before this season.
"If something was to happen, they would have a guideline to go by," said Coach Paul Hall. "They could go back in and run those series of tests and series of the activities with them and see if there's any differences."
"I think it's a great idea because every football game you pretty much hit somebody with your head and head's always a little hurt after every game," said Reynolds player Doug Teasdall.
Player Vance Matthews said, "Just the fact that we have these test scores makes me more comfortable on the playing field."
Kevin Guskiewicz, Gfeller Center Director, said 1-in-10 high school football players will undergo a concussion in a given season. Unfortunately, 30 to 50 percent of those concussions go undiagnosed or unreported, according to Guskiewicz.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are as many as 3.8 million sport-related concussions every year.
Gfeller never actually attended Reynolds High School. He went to The Summit School for the three previous years and would have started at his new school the day after he died. However, students wore t-shirts with his jersey number and hung memorial banners on the first day of class.
WFMY News 2/CBS News