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Young cheerleader shares her story about effects of concussions

Young cheerleader shares her story about effects of concussions


>>I WAS A STRAIGHT A KID AND GOT A D ON THAT TEST. SO LIKE OBVIOUSLY, IT HAD PRETTY BAD AFFECTS.>>CHEERLEADER SHARING CONCUSSION STORY AND WHAT MANY ATHLETES AND PARENTS DO NOT REALIZE.>>THERE IS A GROUP OF UNDER RECOGNIZED SPORTS. CHEERLEADING IS ONE OF THEM. OTHER SPORTS LIKE WATER POLO, EQUESTRIAN. AND RISK IS HIGH.>>REALLY IMPORTANT POINT. WE REPORTED ABOUT CONCUSSIONS IN FOOTBALL AND HOCKEY, AND CONTACT SPORTS BUT CONCUSSION CAN HAPPEN TO ANY ATHLETE OR PERFORMER.>>IT CAN. TONIGHT A LOCAL CHEERLEADER SHARES A STORY. AND ONE THING SHE SHOULD HAVE DONE AFTER SHE WAS HURT. THIS IS KAREN DREW WITH THE STORY.>>Reporter: 14-YEAR-OLD EMMA COLLINS IS A NINTH GRADE CHEERLEADER AT SOUTH LION EAST. THE FACT THAT SHE CAN BE ON SIDE LINES RIGHT NOW IN CHAIR IS HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT CONSIDERING WHAT SHE HAS GONE THROUGH THIS LAST YEAR.>>LAST YEAR I WAS AT CHEER PRACTICE FOR COMPETITIVE CHEER AND WE WERE DOING TWIST BASKETS. WHICH IS WHERE THE FIRE GOES UP AND DOES A 360 ROTATION. COMES DOWN. AND MY FLYER ELBOWED ME AND IN THE LEFT TEMPLE AND I IMMEDIATELY FELT DISNEY AND GOT A HEADACHE. AND THAT’S WHEN IT ALL STARTED.>>Reporter: WHAT STARTED WAS HER CONCUSSION. EMMA DID NOT KNOW AND CONTINUED WITH PRACTICE. A DECISION SHE REGRETS.>>BECAUSE IF I WOULD HAVE TOLD MY COACH I MIGHT NOT BE IN THIS SITUATION. I WENT HOME. I RESTED. AND I WENT TO SLEEP THAT NIGHT. THEN THE NEXT MORNING I STILL HAD A HANDLING I WAS STILL DIZZY. SO WE WENT TO EMERGENCY ROOM.>>DAYS FOLLOWING WE KEPT HER HOME. CALLED RAIN REST. WHERE YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOTHING. NOT EVEN LISTEN TO MUSIC.>>Reporter: DAYS PAST EMMA’S MOM THOUGHT THEY WERE DOING THE RIGHT THING.>>TOOK HER TO PEDIATRICIAN AND SHE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID WHY WERE YOU NOT HERE. AND I SAID WELL I DIDN’T REALIZE. AND SHE REALLY EDUCATED US OF THIS IS A CONCUSSION AND THIS IS WHAT TO DO.>>Reporter: EMMA NEEDED MORE TIME AWAY FROM SCHOOL. AND THERAPY.>>I HAD A BAD HEADACHE. DIZZY ALL THE TIME OF THE I JUST WAS TIRED. AND IT WAS REALLY HARD TO CONCENTRATE.>>I THINK THE SCARY PART FOR ME WAS THE PERSONALITY CHANGE THAT YOU DO NOT REALIZE. I DO REMEMBER KIND OF LOOKING AT HER THINKING THIS IS NOT MY CHILD. BECAUSE IT WAS JUST THAT FLAT AFFECT.>>STAND UP ON THE FOAM.>>Reporter: A YEAR LATER SHE STILL NEEDS PHYSICAL THERAPY BECAUSE OF THE CONCUSSION AND IS TREATED AT MICHIGAN NEURO SPORT IN ANN ARBOR.>>I DID VISION THERAPY, WHICH HELPS WITH BRINGING MY EYES TOGETHER SO I SEE ONE. AND I DID THE THERAPY TO HELP WITH DIZZINESS.>>IT TAKES ALL T CONCENTRATION AND BY THE END THAT MAYBE 10 MINUTES ALL SHE CAN DO. PROBABLY AN HOUR WORKOUT FOR US.>>UNCOMMON. MOST PEOPLE GET BETTER IN 14 DAYS. AND THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE, 10-TO-15 PERCENT THAT GO ON TO HAVE SYMPTOMS THAT ARE LONGER THAN 10 TO 14 DAYS.>>Reporter: EMMA WAS INJURED LAST POCKET AND WAS NOT CLEARED TO GO BACK TO FULL PARTICIPATION UNTIL THIS SUMMER. SHE MADE VARSITY CHEER TEAM FOR SCHOOL SHE IS PUTTING OFF COMPETITIVE CHEER UNTIL NEXT YEAR GIVING HERSELF MORE TIME TO HEAL.>>IT HURT. I MISS CHEERLEADING. I LOVE THE PEOPLE I MEET. AND COMPETITIONSING THROUGH. AND THE PRACTICING. IT MAKES ME A BETTER ATHLETE.>>Reporter: HER ADVICE TO OTHER ATHLETES.>>I WOULD TELL OTHER KIDS THAT IF YOU ARE HIT IN THE HEAD AND YOU ARE FEELING AT ALL DIZZY OR A HEADACHE. TELL YOUR COACH OR A PARENT. THAT YOU ARE FEELING THESE THINGS.>>Reporter: IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY ATHLETE. AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER. KAREN DREW, LOCAL 4 NEWS.>>SO GOOD WE GOT TO FOCUS ON HOW MANY UNDIAGNOSED CONCUSSIONS WE HAVE HAD FOR YEARS AND YEARS BEFORE ANYONE PAID ATTENTION.>>EDUCATION IS KEY TOO BECAUSE

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