Concussion Leaves 14-Year-Old Basketball Player Amnesic, Left-Handed
Mikayla Wilson lost her memory and became a leftie after a basketball injury.
Feb. 24, 2011— -- After hitting her head during a high school basketball game, Mikayla Wilson lost her memory and became a leftie.
The 14-year-old from Spangle, Wash., was shoved to the ground after snatching a rebound during a high school basketball game.
"She didn't black out, she didn't grab her head in obvious injury," Wilson's dad, Michael, told ABC News affiliate KXLY 4. "She just got up and noticed her head hurt a little bit on the back. But basketball these days is a very physical game, and there's lots of contact."
After a fouled Wilson shot her free throws, she played two more quarters for the Liberty High Lancers. It wasn't until the team gathered after the game when Wilson asked her mom, Lorie, "Who are those girls dressed just like I am and why are they looking at me?" that anyone noticed anything wrong.
Wilson was taken to a hospital in nearby Colfax, where a CT scan ruled out skull fractures and bleeding inside the brain. The amnesia, doctors said, was a lingering symptom of a mild traumatic brain injury, better known as concussion.
"The brain has consistency of Jell-O and sits inside the skull, which is nature's helmet. When you hit your head, the brain can shift back and forth, causing injury at the site of impact and distant from it," said Dr. Alan Cohen, chief of pediatric neurosurgery and surgeon in chief at UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland.
Concussions are a growing cause of worry in both childhood and professional sports. In December 2009, the National Football League cracked down on when players could return to a game after suffering a blow to the head.
"More and more, we're realizing that there are biochemical changes that go on in the brain during concussion, and that symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, like amnesia, can last for weeks or even months."