Marissa Flora Concussion Story
I am a 20 year old from South Riding, Virginia. I currently attend Pennsylvania State University.
|Sport||Years Played||Highest Level of Competition|
|Soccer||10+ years||Travel Team|
I have had 7 or more diagnosed concussions and one undiagnosed concussions with my longest recovery being 12 months or more.
I grew up playing competitive soccer in the Washington DC area. While playing I sustained numerous injuries, however my second concussion in which I took a kicked ball to the head and ended up falling and hitting my head off the turf as a result was the beginning of a never ending recovery.
I returned to soccer 4 months later only to get a 3rd concussion from an elbow to the cheek bone 2 months later, ending my career. It was advised that I quit due to my doctor warning me of permanent damage if I continue to get hit in the head.
Luckily, as far as my recovery goes, I had very supportive teammates and coaches who kept me involved and never made me feel left out, but not being able to contribute in games was extremely difficult. Off the field, I was struggling through school with constant migraines, nausea and irritability. This eventually lead to severe depression and it got to a point during my junior year of high school where I wanted to take my own life. Eventually, I received the help I needed and turned my focus towards raising awareness for invisible injuries.
Unfortunately, the concussions did not stop there and a car accident in 2017 left me with my 7th documented concussion and to this day I still deal with headaches, nausea, memory loss, and depression, however, fitness has been my saving grace and being able to workout and sweat through my emotions has been the biggest blessing. I will also say, as hard as it was to watch my teammates play, staying involved in a sport I loved so dearly helped tremendously in my recovery. I still coach soccer and am able to give back as well as teach young athletes that their health will always be the number one priority and it is OK to not be OK.
What has been the most frustrating aspect of your recovery?
Not being able to participate in your sport.
What I Would Have Done Differently
After my second concussion, I would have listened to my body and not returned to play so soon. I believe that that is what made me vulnerable to the next concussion which ended my career.
Advice I Would Give To Others
The advice I would give is listen to your body and do not push yourself. I would also say that it is really OK to not be OK and if you need help, please tell someone and get the help you need and deserve because things will get better.
Back to other Student-Athlete Concussion Stories.