This Concussion Is More Serious Than You Thought

Bob Duncan talks about what happened to his son when he returned to college and to his midterm exams only 24 hours after his concussion.

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[Bob Duncan] Jonathan comes home with us. We put him in the back bedroom where it was dark and gave him his Tylenol to rest. And it's hard to keep a college student away from college, but we forced him to stay with us for 24 hours. And I can tell you, as soon as that 24 hours was up he was ready to get back to college. So that was Sunday evening. He went back to school, where he started on midterm exams the very next day. Well, that's when things got bad. So he went in and took his midterm exams, and Jonathan is typically an A, B student. He works very hard with his grades, and he took that test, and he himself knew the material, but he also knew at the time he didn't do so well on that test. The following Tuesday he had another test— same situation. Wednesday, it continued. Jon didn't say anything to us about what was going on. But what happened is, we were fortunate that his professors picked up that his scores on his tests didn't reflect how he had done in the past, and what he'd been doing. So they raised the question to Jonathan themselves, and said, "Jonathan, this is unlike you. What's going on?" Jonathan then shared with them that this accident happened during the ballgame he had a concussion, and they said, "Tell you what, don't worry about this. We'll give you a week, and you'll take them over." So he did the same thing a week later. The same result. "Tell you what, let's wait." They did it again, another week. And so one of the professors—and Jonathan's a Nursing student at Marquette, so I'm very thankful that his professors are nurses. They looked at Jonathan when they were talking and said, "Jonathan, something's not right, you have 1 eye that's dilated, and 1 eye that's not. I'm really concerned that this concussion is much more serious than you originally thought or were led to believe." And so they sent him to the trainer at Marquette University, which gave him a concussion test. And he failed.
Posted on BrainLine February 21, 2014.

Produced by Sharon Ladin and Justin Rhodes, BrainLine.

About the author: Bob Duncan

Healthcare Executive Bob Duncan and his wife, Sarah, have three children. Their son Jonathan was a sophomore nursing student and a cheerleader at Marquette University when he sustained a concussion that led to an academic leave of absence and ended his cheerleading career.

Bob Duncan