CUMMING, Ga. — Eleven-year-old Parker Disraeli of Cumming suffered a concussion at football practice in August, but due to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Concussion Program, he has fully recovered and is back on the playing field.
Disraeli’s grandfather, Jim Ellis, was helping out at afternoon practice when he suspected Disraeli was showing signs of a concussion.
The team was practicing drills and after almost 10 repetitions, Disraeli sustained a head-to-head hit that left him dazed. Ellis decided to take Disraeli home after discussing his symptoms with the coach.
The next morning, an appointment through the Children’s Concussion Program, a multidisciplinary approach that aligns neurology, sports medicine and immediate care, confirmed that Parker did indeed have a mild concussion.
Dr. David Marshall, medical director of the Children’s Sports Medicine Program, gave the family a plan to follow regarding school attendance and activity levels, and Disraeli’s mother and grandfather kept a close eye on him for the following weeks.
Disraeli’s symptoms improved as the weeks progressed, but he was frustrated by his inability to participate in sports or stay a full day at school.
Ellis said the ordeal required patience and clear communication to ensure Disraeli understood the importance of following Marshall’s plan.
Six weeks after Disraeli’s diagnosis, he was cleared to return to practice. The family credits Marshall and the Children’s team with constantly monitoring Parker’s progress and symptoms.
Ellis said he’s also grateful to Children’s for providing concussion-related educational resources to the community. Merely months before Parker’s injury, Ellis and local coaches used materials from Children’s and the CDC to increase awareness of concussion symptoms among coaches, parents and students.
“We feel very lucky to have a place like Children’s in the area,” Ellis said. “I don’t know if we would have had the same outcome or known all the symptoms otherwise.”