We’d like to introduce our comeback athlete of the month for October, Caitlyn!
How it Happened
She is a 9th grade soccer player at Catalina Foothills High School. She also plays club soccer with the Tucson Soccer Academy – team TSA03 Red. On February 21st earlier this ear, Caitlyn collided with the goalkeeper. Caitlyn was unfortunately punched in the head and then hit her head on the ground when she knocked over. When asked about what the injury felt like Caitlyn states, “It happened really fast, I had a big headache after. I was on the ground with a busted lip— it was really aggressive”. Following her injury, Caitlyn felt like she was unable to do any schoolwork or process information. She would become frustrated with how long it would take to answer simple questions.
The Recovery Process
During the recovery process Caitlyn also had a tough time with the cognitive tests. It was discouraging for her because she felt like she wasn’t improving as quickly as she would have liked. She was out of soccer from February to April for about 6 weeks. However, her best moment during her recovery process was when she was cleared!
Active Rehab Helped!
Caitlyn shares that Dr. Mo’s active rehab approach gradually allowed her to return to touching, then passing, etc. She didn’t do active rehab in the clinic, but with her soccer coach. Throughout her recovery process her peers were patient and very supportive of her.
Caitlyn’s perseverance and patience with the recovery process showed during her first game back.; she played at the state cup and scored two goals! She states, “I missed it so much… it was fun to be back and playing with the team.”
Patience Pays Off!
When asked about her experience with Dr. Mo she describes him as a really good physician who is experienced with concussions. Caitlyn’s mom shared an instance where Caitlyn thought she could trick Dr. Mo and say she didn’t have a headache. Caitlyn followed up with, “He caught me!” (He’s good!)
Caitlyn offers the following advice for student athletes recovering from a concussion: “Be patient and willing to do stuff that you don’t want to do. When I had my concussion I didn’t want to do anything involved with actually helping me, I just wanted to get back to normal school activities, take tests, do soccer – not just sit and watch everything happen.
Stay off your phone!! Follow Dr. Mo’s advice because you will heal faster that way. Do what you’re supposed to do because it helps to recover faster.”
Caitlyn also brought up a good point about the importance of having educators on board with the recovery process. One of her teacher’s was unaware of the impact a concussion has on learning.