Danielle | Pittsburgh, PA
After Danielle suffered from three concussions during middle school – while swimming, playing basketball in gym class, and hitting her head on a wooden cubby – her primary care physician referred her to Micky Collins, PhD, at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
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Dr. Collins created personalized concussion treatment plans in 2011 and 2012, and Danielle went on to graduate with honors from West Allegheny High School in June 2016. While reflecting on her high school career, Danielle wanted to thank Dr. Collins. The following is an excerpt from a note Danielle sent:
This is my last week of high school, and I reflected on my life. I have come a far way since being Dr. Collins’ patient. This year, I was inducted into the National Honor Society, involved as a Student School Board Representative to the West Allegheny School Board, and nominated to the Prom Court! Also, I made it to Distinguished Honors/Summa Cum Laude (top 10% of the graduating class).
While concussed, Danielle recalls experiencing the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Throbbing headaches
Under Dr. Collins’ direction, Danielle received balance therapy so she could regain her hand-eye coordination. She did various exercises to improve her blurred vision, such as standing against a wall and throwing a ball back and forth with her physical therapist. While at home, she would practice walking on a bunched up rug and other uneven surfaces to work on her balance.
Danielle’s motivations for getting better were to participate in sports again and to continue getting high marks in school. As a member of the Archery Club for four years, she consistently maintained a 4.4 GPA.
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“Dr. Collins was so knowledgeable and he explained concussions and their symptoms so well,” remembers Danielle. “He was very hands-on in his care and involved me and my parents in my recovery, every step of the way. He was very personable and always there for me. I can’t thank him enough.”
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