Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his own life back in January at the age of 21. Now, six months later, his parents are sharing what they learned about their son’s tragic death.
During an interview with NBC’s “Today”, Hilinkski’s parents, Mark and Kym, revealed their son had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at the time of his death:
Tyler Hilinski, a promising quarterback and beloved young man, took his own life earlier this year at the age of 21. Results from his autopsy show signs of CTE. pic.twitter.com/fFqGYHksGU
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 26, 2018
CTE has been linked to playing football and a recent study revealed that 99% of the 202 decesead football players had CTE during the time of death.
Following Tyler’s death, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota had contacted the family, who agreed to give the hospital their son’s brain for autopsy and study.
The results left the family stunned:
“The medical examiner said he had the brain of a 65-year-old, which is really hard to take.
“Did football kill Tyler? I don’t think so. Did he get CTE from football? Probably. Was that the only thing that attributed to his death? I don’t know.”
Hilinski appeared in 12 games over two seasons for Washington State including a start in the 2017 Holiday Bowl for the Cougars. He was expected to replace Luke Falk as the team’s starter in 2018. Following Hilinski’s death, Washington State said it would use its spring game to promote suicide prevention and mental health awareness.