Brutal story behind mum’s tears
NO ONE was more concerned for the welfare of Andrew Brayshaw than his mother, Debra, who broke down in tears as she saw her son in Fremantle's changerooms on Sunday.
Brayshaw - who underwent surgery on his jaw and cannot eat solids for a month - was struck off the ball by West Coast defender Andrew Gaff in an incident Fremantle coach Ross Lyon compared to Barry Hall's infamous strike on Brent Staker.
The first-year player won't feature again in 2018.
But Lyon suggested the most scarring part of Sunday's incident was not the physical damage, but the emotional scars the Brayshaw family would now carry.
"We've got an 18-year-old kid who was in a real mess when I came down into the rooms," Lyon said.
"His mum was in tears when I was walking in.
"He was pretty distraught. I gave him a hug, you know. It's hard to keep the emotion back yourself. You see his mum. It's pretty tough."
The Brayshaw family has had a difficult time in recent years, due to eldest son Angus' horror run with concussions.
Angus was restricted to 15 games across 2016-17, playing just five games last year.
Brayshaw's mother Debra revealed last year that she had taken up hypnotherapy to help her deal with watching Angus' games, as his concussions had made her a "nervous spectator" who struggled to enjoy the game.
"What I've found in the last couple of years since Angus has had his concussion is that I've been a bit of a nervous spectator," Debra told SEN's Dee Tales podcast in August last year.
"It wasn't sitting comfortably with me because I really, really love footy and I enjoy watching it and I was going to the football and not enjoying it as much as I'd like.
"So earlier on this year I took myself off and a had a bit of hypnotherapy done so that my anxiety watching the football actually diminished and I could enjoy it."
In his return to AFL football last year, Brayshaw collided with now-retired Saint Koby Stevens, but bounced to his feet after the incident and was able to continue.
"When he went down yesterday I have to say it worked," Debra said.
"I don't know if it's all in my head or whatever, but I calmly waited for him to get up and then I enjoyed watching the rest of the game.
"I think the hypnotherapy might have worked for me. I've got a couple of other sons so hopefully it's going to work with them long-term as well."
Angus Brayshaw has bounced back from his concussion issues to become one of the Demons' finest players, while Andrew had enjoyed a promising start to his career at Fremantle.
Middle son Hamish is in his first year at West Coast, alongside Gaff, but has yet to make his debut.
Melbourne captain Nathan Jones said Andrew's older brother Angus had been "rattled" by the incident.
"I think (Angus is) a little bit rattled. He's going to pop over today and do some recovery and I'll have a chat to him," Jones told SEN Breakfast.
"I think obviously he felt like his hands were tied. I think all of his family was over there in Perth and it's a little bit of a weird situation with (other brother) Hamish playing at West Coast as well and I think being close friends with Gaff as well.
"It's not something you want to see and obviously Angus is just feeling for his younger brother and hoping he's going to be okay, but it's definitely not something we want to see too often."