Mark, Pittsburgh, PA

World class care in our backyard is not just an ad tagline.


Mark, Pittsburgh, PA

Just before Thanksgiving, Mark Bolster slipped on black ice in his driveway. He lost consciousness after the back of his head hit the concrete.

The Accident

“My wife found me sitting upright, but disoriented,” he says. “I couldn’t remember falling. She called 911.”

Concussion Symptoms

With barely a bump on his head and no bleeding wound, Mark walked to the ambulance. His neck hurt, though, and he vomited on the drive to UPMC Mercy.

Concussion Assessment

A brain CT scan ruled out stroke and any internal swelling or bleeding. Mark was given the option to stay for observation, but went home. Days later, he saw neuropsychologist Erin Reynolds, PsyD, at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

Through neurocognitive assessment, she diagnosed Mark with a concussion. His reaction time, memory, balance, and emotional state were all affected.

“I got dizzy when moving my head and fatigued quickly,” he says. “Noises bothered me and I’d have crying/emotional moments that came from out of nowhere.”

Managing the Concussion

Dr. Reynolds prescribed physical and vestibular therapy. Mark spent weeks working with Pam Dunlap, PT, and Joseph Furman, MD, PhD, all while continuing at his job as a photographer in the UPMC Marketing Communications department, although not at full capacity.

“Recovery didn’t happen as fast as I wanted it to, but I finally returned to a regular workload in January,” he says.

Today, Mark feels great and no longer experiences any of the issues he had while concussed.

“I know others have had concussions much worse than mine,” he says. “I wouldn’t wish one on anyone, but if it happened, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend UPMC’s program.

“World class care in our backyard is not just an ad tagline. It’s something for which I am personally grateful.”

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