From busy nights cheering on her team to scoring the winning goal on the soccer field, Shae is used to going full speed in pursuit of her passions. However, approaching her senior year, Shae was stopped in her tracks after experiencing a significant concussion. What started as a headache, quickly turned into over 20 symptoms that affected her physically, mentally, and emotionally.
“The concussion had completely changed Shae from who she was as a person. She had many days where she took one step forward and two steps back,” explained Tami, Shae’s Mom. “As a parent, it was difficult to watch your child day after day struggle with simple tasks that we so easily take for granted.”
As her symptoms progressed, Shae was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome. She started therapy with ChildServe’s Concussion Clinic and worked closely with Physical Therapist and Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Jill Mullen.
“Shae came to ChildServe‘s Concussion Clinic five months after her injury,” said Jill. “She was still having significant symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and blurry vision that were affecting her daily life. She was unable to make it through a school day, having trouble sleeping, had not returned to any activities, and was not able to drive.”
Shae’s injury was standing in between her and her senior year of high school. On average, most kids recover from concussions within 4-6 weeks. However, Shae fell within the 20% of kids who start to develop lingering symptoms.
“There can be a lot of fear and uncertainty after a child sustains a concussion,” explained Jill. “I love being able to educate families on what to expect after a concussion and helping guide them through an appropriate rehabilitation plan to get them back to doing what they love.”
Each week, Jill and Shae focused on retraining her sleep routine, eating routine, cognition, vision, and basic sensory tasks. Slowly, Jill introduced different challenges while keeping Shae’s symptoms under control.
“ChildServe gave Shae and our family hope,” said Tami. “Each week would soon prove that Shae was making progress. Finally, she was overcoming the simplest of tasks. This gave Shae more confidence and hope knowing that she was getting her life back to normal.”
ChildServe’s Concussion Clinic serves kids and young adults, like Shae, who have experienced a concussion or concussion-like symptoms. Because concussions can affect everyone differently, ChildServe’s team provides individualized recommendations to help each child or teen recover to the fullest extent possible.
“It was truly a team approach between myself, Shae and her family, the school, occupational therapy, speech therapy, the nurse practitioner, and a developmental optometrist to address all of her symptoms,” explained Jill. “Thanks to the partnership and commitment from Shae and her family, almost all of her symptoms have resolved.”
After a year of treatment and with the help ChildServe’s Concussion Clinic, Shae is back to tearing up the soccer field and living life to the fullest.
“Shae has recovered from her concussion because of ChildServe,” said Tami. “She is now driving, participating in a sport for the first time since her injury, and feeling back to normal. She is also looking forward to college in the fall!”
If you suspect your child has experienced a concussion, know that professionals at ChildServe are ready to support your family.
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.