As an active basketball and volleyball player, Kaitlyn Jones was a busy 17-year-old student athlete. When she hit the gym floor during a basketball game on December 13, 2019, Kaitlyn and her family didn’t know what to expect after she was diagnosed with a concussion at the emergency department near her home in Henderson, NC.
For nearly a week, Kaitlyn managed some pretty intense symptoms including dizziness, headache, sensitivity to light and nausea. After a visit with her primary care physician, Kaitlyn was referred to WakeMed’s Concussion Program – nearly an hour away from their hometown.
Vestibular Therapy for Concussion
After a thorough evaluation, the Concussion Program team reassured Kaitlyn and her mother that everything she was experiencing was normal and that she should recover fairly quickly. They recommended vestibular therapy to help balance her inner ear, which they hoped would eliminate the dizziness Kaitlyn was feeling. She attended one session in her hometown, but they performed an assessment that indicated she was OK and didn’t need any further treatment. Unfortunately, Kaitlyn’s symptoms persisted – headaches, sensitivity to light and dizziness that wouldn’t seem to go away.
Developing a Personalized Plan for Care
At this point, they knew it was worth the trek from Henderson to seek further treatment at WakeMed’s Concussion Program once again. From there, Kaitlyn’s physical therapist, Lauren worked closely with Kaitlyn to understand her symptoms and challenges by performing multiple assessments.
While she passed her neurological tests, Lauren developed a personalized plan to tackle the lingering headaches. From muscular exercises to an at-home therapy plan, Lauren helped eliminate Kaitlyn’s lasting symptoms and get ready to return to play after just 3-4 sessions.
“Every step of the way through Kaitlyn’s injury to her speedy recovery, WakeMed’s Concussion Program was there for us,” explains Kaitlyn’s mother, Sheri Jones. “When no one else could help her, we knew driving to Raleigh for treatment was a worthwhile investment of time – and we were right.”
Today, Kaitlyn is busy keeping up with school and multiple sports – with no lasting concussion symptoms. While they hope to never experience a concussion again, if they do, they know just where to go.
“I can’t say enough about the personalized care we received, and it was so obvious the team really cared about us,” shares Ms. Jones. “From follow-up phone calls to check in on Kaitlyn and reassure me, to the comprehensive level of care we received, the WakeMed Concussion Program helped us through a unique and frightening injury we’d never experienced before. I’m thankful for the program and the staff for all they’ve done for us”.