Brittany, 26 Years Old, Pittsburgh, PA

Brittany, 26 Years Old, Pittsburgh, PA

Five days a week, Brittany rides her bicycle to work as a physical therapy aide at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh’s South Side. She travels the same route daily and never had a problem until one rainy day in September 2014.

The Accident

“I woke up and was on the ground,” she recalls. “Two men were hovering over me, asking me if I was okay.”brittany brown

To date, Brittany can’t remember how the accident happened. She somehow crashed her bicycle going around a sharp bend that she always takes slowly. Her head and right hip were hurting. She felt lucky that she was wearing her helmet.

“I was able to tell the people trying to help me that I was on my way to work,” she says. “I asked them if my bike was damaged. At that point, I didn’t think it was a big deal. I was just a little disoriented.”

Brittany didn’t want to go to the hospital and instead asked one of the men for a ride to work.

“I’ve had concussions before so I thought I should just go talk to my coworkers,” she says. “Some of them evaluate and treat concussion patients on a regular basis. I didn’t think there was a need to go anywhere else.”

Once Brittany arrived at work and told her coworkers what happened, they immediately called 911. She needed to get to a hospital for evaluation.

Concussion Symptoms

While she waited for the paramedics, Brittany began to experience several concussion symptoms. She experienced:

  • A headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Forgetfulness

“I forgot my date of birth and could barely stay awake.”

Concussion Assessment

Later at the hospital, a CT scan of her head and an MRI of her hip both came back negative for any serious issues. Brittany was officially diagnosed with a concussion and was referred to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. There, she met with neuropsychologist Jonathan French, PsyD. Brittany underwent a full evaluation including neurocognitive testing.

“Dr. French had me do the ImPACT® test and recommended that I take some time off work,” she says.

Managing the Concussion

Based on her results from her evaluation with Dr. French, Brittany began exertion therapy and observed some work restrictions. “I worked on my exertion therapy exercises both at home and at work before and after my shifts,” she recalls.

Brittany worked on her therapy for about a month with regular checkups with Dr. French. After this period, she began feeling like herself again and was able to return—symptom free—to all the activities she enjoys. Brittany was cleared by Dr. French and the concussion team in October 2014.

“I’d advise anyone who suffers an accident like that to seek medical attention immediately. You never know how severe a concussion can be until you’re evaluated by a trained professional,” Brittany shares.

To learn more about our patients, read their stories.


To learn more about our patients, read their stories.