Family members announced Friday that Ty Pozzobon’s brain will be donated to researchers in the pursuit of gaining a better understanding of the connection between traumatic brain injuries, concussions and depression.
Professional bull rider Ty Pozzobon, 25, was found dead at his home in Merritt, B.C. on Monday morning by his mother and a family friend. Investigators deemed the circumstances non-suspicious and Pozzobon’s death was later confirmed as a suicide.
A family spokesperson said Pozzobon had been suffering from depression, anxiety and the effects of a number of concussions he had sustained in recent years.
Pozzoban’s family came together with Nucleus Bio, a team of researchers based in Vancouver, to arrange the donation to a larger medical research group that works on traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
“We are grateful to be working with the Pozzobon family to better understand the underlying correlation between traumatic brain injury, concussions and depression that we understand Ty had been struggling with,” said Nucleus Bio representative Sandy Price in a press release.
Price said Nucleus Bio pursues “ground breaking” initiatives by working with scientists, medical professionals and medical centres to make advancements in imaging, diagnosing and tracking traumatic brain injury, potentially leading to “better treatments and patient outcomes” for those who experience brain injuries and depression.
“It’s important that people know about the implications of head injuries as a result of concussions,” said Leanne Pozzobon, Ty’s mother.
The Pozzobon family and family friend Tracy Scott extended their “utmost gratitude” to the Kamloops-based physicians who made the donation possible.
“Without their help, this never would have been a reality,” said Scott.
Pozzobon’s professional legacy is one of incredible ability and empathy.
The professional rodeo community mourns Pozzobon not only as an accomplished athlete but as a loving, devoted friend.
Pro Rodeo Canada released a statement on their website, saying, “While all of us mourn the loss of one of our sport’s brightest stars, we are painfully aware that we have also lost one of the truly genuine people in this or any sport.
“The ever-ready Pozzy grin, the endless love and devotion to family and friends, his ability to pick up the spirits of those around him—those are special talents—as great, and maybe even greater, than his superstar ability to ride the rankest bulls in the industry.”
“Ty Pozzobon was a cowboy through and through and loved being a professional bull rider,” said Sean Gleason, CEO of PBR. “His infectious personality and enthusiasm for doing what he loved touched so many of us, and we will remember him always.”
A memorial service for Ty will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14 in Merritt.