Ryah started cheering at age 10. Each year she advanced in level and even began assistant coaching lil ones her second and third seasons. At age 13, on Jan 4, 2016 that all ended.
A normal night, a normal practice, a stunt they'd practiced many times just went wrong. She fell and landed on her head but got right up and tried to go up again. The gym, coaches, Ryah and her teammates were not to blame! It was seriously an accident that could happen to anyone at any time. Cheer is a dangerous sport. The coach had her sit out and performed a concussion test on her. A couple minutes later, the adrenaline must have worn off because she collapsed.
She couldn't walk or talk and still has no memory of that day or the next. She was rushed to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a mild concussion and sent home. I (her mom) knew that was wrong and argued but no one listened. Her brain scans showed no swelling or bleeding. A couple days later when she still couldn't walk or talk, I took her back to the ER and they upgraded her status to a moderate traumatic brain injury.
Again, we were sent home soon after with instructions to keep her in the dark and quiet until her headache went away and her speech and mobility returned. That turned into 3 months of bed rest! Our local Dr.'s wouldn't listen to me; the insurance wouldn't send us elsewhere. We were on our own. We found a local sports Dr. who specializes in concussion recovery who helped us a ton at no cost to us. Without him, I'm not sure how we would have coped.
Gradually her speech and mobility returned, she still struggles with headaches and "meltdowns" and still does not attend school full time. But she's so much better than she was a year ago! She's come so far.
Through it all, she's found comfort in singing and loves to lead worship for her youth group. She inspires so many through her recovery! Her positive attitude and focus on God has gotten us all through the craziest year ever.
We are still struggling with Dr.'s and insurance but we know God has a plan for all of this. People are watching how she/we are handling things and we want them to see God through us and through this struggle!