Mars, 16 Years Old, Pittsburgh, PA

"You know you're in the right place when you come here."

Mars' Father

Mars, 16 Years Old, Pittsburgh, PA

Mars, a hockey player, has sustained multiple concussions over the course of his athletic career.

Concussion Experiences

He sustained his first concussion in seventh grade when he was blindsided with a hit to his head during a hockey game. After experiencing intense headaches and some nausea, he visited his local emergency room where he was referred to Micky Collins, PhD, and the team at UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

Mars took the ImPACT® test and was encouraged to adopt changes in his routine, like sitting out of practice, resting, and rehabilitation exercises. After completing treatment from the concussion team, Mars was symptom-free and returned to the ice.

“After my concussion I was scared of what may happen. After meeting Dr. Collins, I felt confident his team would help me get back to 100%,” Mars described.

Another Concussion

A few years later in 2014, Mars sustained two concussions in one year. After his second hit on the ice in November of 2014, Mars began feeling differently than he had after past concussions.

Concussion Symptoms

He reported:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Personality changes

“Hockey is such a big part of my life, but suddenly it was like I didn’t care about it anymore,” Mars recalled.

Assessing the Concussion

After a few weeks, Mars returned to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program for evaluation and treatment.

Managing the Concussion

Mars worked with Anne Mucha, DPT, for vestibular therapy, in addition to a vision therapy regimen.

Concussion Recovery

Thanks to his hard work and rehabilitation with the concussion team, Mars was cleared in December 2014. He has returned to the ice and even traveled to Minnesota to participate in a college showcase.

Mars’ father offered his perspective on his son’s treatment from the UPMC concussion clinic, “You know you’re in the right place when you come here.”

To learn more about our patients, read their stories.


To learn more about our patients, read their stories.