ReThink Concussions, ReWrite the Story: World Champion Amanda Kessel

ReThink Concussions, ReWrite the Story: World Champion Amanda Kessel

When Amanda Kessel first visited the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, she had been suffering from concussions symptoms for more than a year. Amanda, a world-renowned athlete, had experienced a concussion during an ice hockey game. Amanda’s symptoms included nausea, dizziness, headaches, and loss of appetite.

Amanda’s initial treatment protocol required her to sit in a dark room and rest. However, after months of continued concussion symptoms, she began to lose hope that she would ever feel normal again.

Finally, Amanda sought the help of Dr. Michael “Micky” Collins, clinical and executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Amanda didn’t know what to expect when she first came to UPMC for treatment, but said that she found the active, individualized treatment plan very effective.

“It’s different than what you grow up hearing about”, said Amanda. “Sitting in a dark room, not being on your phone, no working out or being active. I really had no idea and didn’t understand that [concussions] are a treatable condition.”

Amanda was dedicated to her new treatment protocol, which included vestibular and exertional therapy. Not long after beginning treatment, Amanda experienced significant improvements to her health and finally felt like herself again. She was eventually cleared to return to competitive ice hockey, something she had once thought improbable during the worst of her concussion symptoms.

Amanda reflected on her concussion journey by recalling, “There was a year of my life that I didn’t even think I would ever play hockey again. What I had worked my entire life for, I didn’t think I was going to be able to achieve because of this concussion. It really was life changing meeting you (Dr. Collins).”

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