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Concussion: The Hidden Diagnosis

Concussion: The Hidden Diagnosis

Jayden Moffa was in her sophomore year of high school, a student with good grades, who was preparing for college in her future. One day, during gym class Jayden was accidentally hit in the head with a soccer ball. She visited the school nurse and returned to class as normal, not giving it a second thought.

It wasn’t until a few months later that she began to realize she was having difficulty concentrating in class. This being unusual, she discussed it with her mother, and they got a tutor to help with her schoolwork. While working with the tutor Jayden was still having difficulty retaining the information. At this point she was frustrated, had low energy and started to develop headaches. Jayden reached out to her pediatrician, who suggested it may be hormonal and they attempted treatment options. After waiting some time, and treatment options not working, Jayden visited a chiropractor. She did receive some temporary relief after the visit, but then she began experiencing difficulties with her vision.

It was now nearly nine months after the incident that occurred in gym class. Once her vision problems began, she met with an ophthalmologist. During the appointment she was diagnosed with Ocular Motor Disfunction. This diagnosis led her to seek out a vision therapist, to help strengthen her vision. The appointment with a vision therapist was the first time Jayden was asked if she had ever experienced a concussion. She had explained that she does not play sports, and this is when it was explained not only athletes experience concussion.

Shortly afterwards, Jayden met with the Excela Health Sports Medicine and Concussion Management Center. She was given an initial evaluation, utilizing the ImPACT® test, a neurocognitive assessment tool. After the evaluation, nearly 14 months after the injury, Jayden was diagnosed with a concussion and began treatment with the team at the Concussion Management Center. The specially trained medical staff created a comprehensive guide to recovery and get Jayden back to herself.

After treatment and recovery from this debilitating concussion, Jayden went on to complete a degree in social work from Westmoreland County Community college and earned the title of Miss Southwestern Pennsylvania. Jayden used her platform to bring awareness to concussion injuries and the impact they can have on a person's life -along with the long-term implications, treatment options and need for support. She connected with her concussion specialist, and others to form a concussion support group in Westmoreland County, offering support, education and encouragement to others living with the long-term effects of concussion.

To learn more about the Excela Health Center for Concussion Care, click here.