Concussion Didn’t Sink This Water Polo Star

An over-achiever at 16, Katie was an A student who’d been accepted into the Junior Olympics water polo team while considering which university she’d attend for nursing school. She thrived on success and was a rising star in school athletics. But her life plunged into pain and confusion when she was elbowed in the temple by a competitor during an intense match with a rival team.

That thump she felt was later diagnosed as a concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). The symptoms are often subtle and easily mistaken for exhaustion. She had headaches, poor attention span, and slept up to 16 hours a day. The most alarming red flag was low scores on her SAT exams, after months of studying. Her mother knew it was time to see a neurologist, who referred Katie to CNS.

The Goal: Excel in Nursing School
From their first encounter with staff, Katie’s family was convinced that CNS was the right place. “I heard laughter in the rooms and positive reinforcement,” her mother recalled. “This was an answer to what I’d wanted for months. People were struggling, yet had smiles on their faces.”

The family lived two hours from the CNS facility, but they were willing to go the distance to see Katie recover. Five days a week, four hours a day on the road were worth the progress she made in day treatment, her mother noted. “Everyone was welcoming,” Katie said. “They designed a plan specifically for me, knowing that
my goal was college.”

CNS focused on cognitive therapies, memory, attention span and setting goals. In four months she was discharged, took the SAT, scored well, and was accepted into a top nursing school. Now she’s on the Dean’s List.

During her summers off, Katie completed two volunteer assignments at an orphanage in Africa.
She’s employed part time at a children’s hospital and lives independently. Her dream is to
work in a pediatric or neonatal intensive care unit. Her intense headaches and memory lapses
have subsided.

“Without my CNS family I wouldn’t be here now,” she said.