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Chris Henry

Chris Henry (May 17, 1983 – December 17, 2009) was an American football wide receiver who played five seasons in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals. He played college football at West Virginia and was drafted by the Bengals in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

In June 2010, the Brain Injury Research Institute released a report that Henry had developed a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy during his playing career due to multiple hard hits to the head. While several former NFL players had been found to have the disease after their deaths, Henry was believed to be the first still-active NFL player to have it. The discovery that Henry had CTE has become a serious issue of concern for football and brain safety, especially since Henry was relatively young and had never been diagnosed with a concussion in either his five NFL seasons or his college career at West Virginia. Concern has been raised whether an accumulation of lesser blows could eventually be enough to cause brain damage. It was also believed that the brain damage Henry suffered may have been a factor in his numerous off-the-field incidents.

After his death, Henry's mother made the decision to donate his organs for transplant. Henry's corneas, lungs, kidneys, heart, liver, and pancreas were transplanted, saving the lives of four people.

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