Jenna, 17 Years Old, Ridgway, PA

Jenna, 17 Years Old, Ridgway, PA

In September 2012, Jenna took a hard hit to her head from a soccer ball during a kicking drill. Jenna initially tried to keep going but soon felt something wasn’t right.

“I didn’t know what was going on at first, I felt so tired and droopy all of a sudden and I didn’t know what to think of it,” Jenna recalls.jenna

Over the next few days, Jenna, her mother Rita, and her soccer coach became concerned that she wasn’t progressing. Jenna’s symptoms included strong headaches, tiredness, fogginess, and noise and light sensitivity.  She visited a local emergency room, was diagnosed with a concussion, and was instructed to sit out of soccer for a week. Rita spoke with the high school’s athletic director who recommended Jenna take the ImPACT® test and begin working with a physical therapist. After a physical therapy appointment, Rita and Jenna were disappointed with the lack of communication they experienced and decided to explore other options.

This began a chain of referrals and conflicting recommendations leaving Jenna with growing frustrations, ongoing symptoms, and difficulties in school. Jenna, a self-described “huge Pittsburgh Penguins® fan”, began researching who treated the players and found the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. After sharing the program with her mom and scheduling an appointment, Jenna and her mother traveled two and a half hours to Pittsburgh in January 2013.

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At this first appointment, Jenna formed a bond with Luke Henry, PhD, and Micky Collins, PhD. Jenna and Rita both felt relieved to know these experts felt confident she would be okay. Jenna began exertion, vision, and physical therapy regimens with take-home exercises to supplement her visits.

In October of 2013, Jenna was cleared by the concussion team. She was encouraged to resume her active lifestyle without the limitations she’d had for so long. Jenna has returned to full activities and even started cheerleading and dancing.


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