Jacob Finglass of Owings Mills had his sights on being the next captain of his high school lacrosse team. However, everything changed for the 17-year-old on April 1, 2010, when he collided with another player and his head snapped back violently. Suddenly, he suffered from a severe headache and nausea. Despite those symptoms, he went back to school the next day.
Days later, Jacob's headaches and nausea wouldn't let up. A good student, he suddenly had difficulty concentrating in class. After consulting several other specialists, Jacob's mother, Esther Finglass, took him to neuropsychologist Brenda Elliott, head of MWPH's new Concussion Assessment and Management Program (CAMP).
One of Dr. Elliott's tools is the ImPACT test. Developed by two Pittsburgh neurologists and used by the NFL and a growing number of other athletic organizations, ImPACT is neuro-cognitive computer software that helps determine the effects of a concussion.
Dr. Elliott diagnosed Jacob with Second Impact Syndrome, now taking into account a hit he suffered just a week before. She ordered immediate brain rest, and instructed him not to return to school: he would need plenty of rest to allow his brain to heal.
Jacob still suffers from severe headaches and cognitive issues and currently attends school part-time. But he is using his experience to help others, speaking out to community groups and at schools about taking concussions seriously, both on and off the field.