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Creative Karla Writes Her Way to Recovery

Their Story

I have no doubt that big things are ahead for 7th grader Karla. At only 12 years old she has already written multiple books. These books are not a few sentences and pictures, they are full on chapter books that are 100 pages long. Recently Karla has really dedicated herself to her writing. She has had the time to write more now that she is not going to gymnastics practice 16 hours a week due to a concussion. In May of 2018 Karla hit her head on a vault apparatus and felt shooken up. One of her gym teammates Kenadie, a former patient at SPARCC had experienced a concussion. Kenadie started doing some of the eye assessments she remembered from SPARCC on Karla and noticed that her eyes were shaking on the endpoints of her smooth pursuit. 10 year old doctor in training Kenadie diagnosed Karla with a concussion, and told her mom that she should go to SPARCC to get checked out. Dr. Mo confirmed that Kenadie was right and Karla did have a concussion.

The main symptoms bothering Karla were headaches and balance issues. As a high level gymnast, Karla was used to having excellent balance and the concussion made it hard for her to even stand on one foot. After 6 months of exercise and eye rehab, Karla was back to gymnastics. Then in February of 2019 she was hit in the back of the head with a basketball in P.E. class. Karla came back to SPARCC and was not very enthusiastic to start the whole process over again. Not only was she frustrated to be back in this position, but the symptoms from this second concussion were worse. Every time we told her she needed to do the virtual reality vision test (OMT), we could feel her disdain for the test grow. She set the SPARCC record of 12 OMT tests. Once again being away from gymnastics she spent more time on her other hobbies including baking, guitar, and of course writing. Her younger sister/#1 fan will be the first to tell you that her new book is a page turner. It features an evil scientist, Dr. Masavi (that name sounds familiar…) who is creating a dinosaur army in Hawaii. Karla’s advice to others that are going through a concussion is, “it’s a journey and there are times you want to give up but it’s so satisfying when you get cleared.”

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