Claudia Sofía Ramírez-Méndez is a 13-year-old straight-A student known for her sense of humor. She also enjoys soccer. But last fall, Claudia suffered a concussion from an accidental fall at school.
At first, Claudia laughed it off. The next day, she experienced headaches. A visit to the emergency room confirmed a concussion. During a follow-up visit, the pediatrician told Claudia’s mother, Marisaida, that her daughter should see a neurologist.
Wait lists were long – some as many as two months. A week into the concussion, Claudia could not attend school because focusing triggered headaches. She lost her appetite, and her eyes looked dull. Her smile had disappeared and she spent most of her time sleeping.
Two weeks later, Claudia returned to school. Three hours into her first day, the headaches returned. Marisaida made more calls but still could not get an appointment with a specialist.
“Why don’t you take her to the concussion clinic at Shriners?” someone asked. Marisaida called and immediately got an appointment for the next morning.
“I was very impressed with the respect and care that we received on the phone,” Marisaida said.
Claudia was seen by Richard Radecki, M.D., a physiatrist. He is the director of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa's Rebound Advanced Concussion Center. Dr. Radecki explained what to expect and when. “I felt relieved because even though Claudia was not well yet, I had a support system,” Marisaida said.
Following her initial consultation/examination, Claudia saw a physical therapist one to two times per week. The therapist and Dr. Radecki worked as a team. Less than three months later, Claudia received a clean bill of health.
She is back at school, working hard and catching up with friends. “Her wittiness and sassiness are back,” her mom said. “After school you can find her practicing for her first game of the season.”
Learn more about the Rebound Advanced Concussion Center at Shriners Hospitals for Children —Tampa.