David Ross- Concussion Patient Story | ReThink Concussion | UPMC

David Ross- Concussion Patient Story | ReThink Concussion | UPMC

As a seasoned professional baseball catcher, David Ross considers getting hit by foul tips, pitches, and occasionally bats part of his job. During an afternoon game in May of 2013, David experienced multiple blows to his head caused by high-speed foul tips. After taking a week off to recover, he returned to play but was again hit in the head by a high-speed foul ball.

Experiencing Concussion Symptoms

Witnessing firsthand the changes in his interactions with their children and friends, David’s wife Hyla strongly encouraged him to seek treatment for his symptoms of dizziness, headaches, and intense mood changes including anger, sadness, and anxiety. David’s team referred him to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. He traveled to Pittsburgh in June of 2013 to work with Micky Collins, PhD, and the clinical concussion team. He underwent testing, including vestibular ocular motor screening (VOMS) to identify the severity of his injury.

Seeking Concussion Treatment

“Going in and talking to him — my wife was there with me — I remember getting emotional, telling him how I was feeling. I finally let my guard down a little bit. I remember him doing some tests. The best thing I can say about him and the facility is they show you that you’re hurt.”*
David recalls feeling relieved and inspired when Dr. Collins told him that his injury was not career-ending, and that in time he would feel better and return to the game.
“He gave me a plan. That’s why he knows athletes so well is we work better…with small steps.”

Personalized Concussion Treatment Plan

The UPMC concussion team developed a personalized rehabilitation program to help David recover. He says that his treatment plan at UPMC offered him the ability to play an active role in his recovery. The approach helped him avoid negative thoughts and channel his energy into improving his health and getting back to the game he loves.

Concussion Recovery

In August of 2013, after three months of hard work, he was finally symptom free. By following his plan, David was able to return to baseball in time to catch during the final out of the 2013 championship series.
“If you don’t rehab the brain, how is it supposed to get better, how is it supposed to get back to knowing what to do on the baseball field?”

*Quote taken from ESPN article with Dr. Collins, David Ross, and other patients


View the transcript for the video featuring David Ross


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