When Payton first came to SPARCC, it was hard to understand the pain and frustration he was going through. This is because Payton always has a smile on his face. He is a very kind and polite individual and his concussion did not change that. However, what his concussion did change was his ability to concentrate and focus in school.
It all started during an ultimate frisbee match in April when his collegiate team from Colgate was competing in a tournament. Payton, a cutter, was making a long run for the disc and, as he dove to make the catch, was kneed in the back of the head and his face hit the ground. His head hurt but he figured since it had been a long weekend of frisbee, the pain was caused by dehydration, and he kept playing.
Back at school the next day, Payton was sitting in class and realized he could not see what was on the board. When he walked out of the classroom, he could not remember where he was. Worried, he picked up his phone to call his roommate for help, but as he looked at his phone, he could not remember what he wanted to do next.
When he finally got to the hospital, doctors officially diagnosed him with a concussion. He tried to do all he could to stay in school and continue with his everyday life. Without taking any breaks, Payton understood that he was not recovering. After three weeks, the school and doctors made a plan for Payton to return home to Tucson. At home he could take a break from everything, and then finish his classes and return to school once he was recovered.
Dr. Vincent, a family friend of Payton’s, sent him to see Dr. Jon at SPARCC. Dr. Jon was the support that Payton needed to understand that he was going to be all right and overcome his concussion. Over the course of a month, Payton has put all of his effort into getting better. He progressed through active rehab with ease and has been working on his focus and concentration, so when he goes back to Colgate, he will be well prepared.
Payton returned to Colgate this fall to complete his senior year and earn degrees in Economics and Computer Science. He is going to be back on the frisbee team, this year as a captain and the safety officer. After going through this experience, Payton wanted to help others who suffer from concussions. He decided to get certified to do some of the testing that we do here at SPARCC so he can share his knowledge and awareness with his team.
By Erin Peterson & Libby Frino