GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV-TV) – West De Pere’s Anna Young played sports all through high school and beyond and never got a concussion. She did get a concussion at a softball game, however, where she was just a spectator in the stands and trying to be helpful.
“I thought I would be a kind person and just go get a foul ball,” explained Young.
Young was just rounding third on her career path to be a radiation technologist, when a Friday night at the ballpark almost struck out that dream.
“After I picked it up and started walking to the dugout, another ball came and kind of hit me right here in the temple,” Young said.
At first, Young didn’t realize she injured anything more than her pride.
“It clunked me in the head, and I just kept going,” Young chuckled.
However, at an off-site training program in Chicago a couple days later, Young realized something was wrong.
“I just didn’t feel like myself at all. I still had a headache and like, brain fog,” Young recalled. “I was kind of stuttering on what I was trying to say.”
Young’s mother, a physical therapist herself, suggested Young get checked out at Aurora BayCare’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine facility.
“My mom is actually the one who knew about Sports P.T. and the stuff they do for concussion recovery,” said Young.
Concussion recovery is what Katelyn Peterson knows best. Peterson is a sports physical therapist at Aurora BayCare.
“We have specialized therapists at Aurora BayCare that specialize in concussion rehab,” Peterson pointed out.
Peterson says no two concussions are alike, which is why it’s so important to provide individualized therapy, tailored to each patient’s injury.
“She was a student at the time and had a lot of studying to do,” Peterson recalled. “So, we needed to address that and address it quickly because she needed to be taking exams.”
After working through the muscular issues in Young’s head and neck, Peterson started incorporating exercises geared toward getting Young’s balance, vision and brain back on track; again, personalizing the treatment to Young’s own goals and activities.
“While we were playing catch back and forth, because her sport in high school was softball, I would ask ‘What’s your favorite sport? What your favorite sports team? What’s your favorite color?’ and she would have to rapid-fire answer questions while working on another task,” Peterson explained.
After only a few appointments, Young says she could already tell she was on the road to recovery.
“In two weeks, a week and a half, things started turning around and I started feeling more like myself,” Young remembered.
Young was back on track without missing a beat.
“I actually just passed my boards yesterday so now I am a certified radiation therapist,” she said.
Ready to help others, like Peterson helped her.
“I didn’t think that I was ever going to feel like myself again because I’ve never had a concussion or felt like that,” Young said, “but Katelyn really helped me.”
Young is already working locally with radiation and cancer patients, helping them get the care that they need.
If you suspect a concussion, health experts say to call your healthcare provider. If you need immediate assistance, go to the emergency department.