20-year-old male hockey player

I recently suffered from post-concussion syndrome. I received a second concussion within a few weeks of a previous hit to my head. Before this happened to me, I would hear on TV and the news of players suffering from concussions, but I never really took it too seriously. I always thought the player would be fine and bounce back — no problem. After my last one, I learned that receiving a concussion is a big deal.

On October 6th, 2009, I was hit with an elbow to my head playing in a Junior A hockey game. I do not remember the game, preparing for the game, nothing. I remember sitting in the dressing room with a paramedic, not knowing what happened. The next few months consisted of headaches, light sensitivity and sensitivity to noise; even just walking around too much seemed to cause those severe headaches! It puts you into a state of depression and you feel like you have a long road back to recovery. Luckily, I saw Dr. Echlin and he kept a close watch on my progress. If I hadn’t seen him, I would most likely have rushed back into playing within a few weeks and run into more trouble with more concussions. That is a big problem these days: players, coaches and trainers all rush concussion victims back into action too quickly.

If I could give a concussion victim any advice, it would be simple: Get help, see a specialist, and DO NOT RUSH! You have the rest of your life to live!