It was a mild, partly sunny day in Avon, Indiana. The McCutcheon High School Mavericks junior-varsity baseball team was on the field, awaiting the next batter's swing. A pop-up fly arced downward as first baseman Brady Kas and his teammate converged to claim the snag. They collided head-on and tumbled to the ground.
Brady staggered to his feet with a bloody lip, sore jaw, but no other serious complaints to speak of.
As a precaution, the trainers and coaches checked the young man out and he was back in to finish the remainder of the first game of a double-header. His parents checked with him in between games and everything appeared normal. His only complaint was that his jaw was hurting, and he played the second game. That's pretty much the way it happened on that April 21, 2018, afternoon.
Problem is – Brady doesn't remember the collision or anything about that day. Not one thing.
"There are a lot of things that happened afterwards I don’t remember, but I did know things weren't right with me," Brady said.
A CT scan didn't reveal anything abnormal so he tried returning to life but found himself staggering and dealing with raging headaches. It was the start of an ordeal that would take Brady and his family on a nine-month odyssey.
"Things continued to quickly spiral downward," recalled his mother, Crysta Kas. "He was unable to do simple, everyday things and he developed double vision. He eventually had to withdraw from school for about five weeks."
The parents were desperately looking for answers and consulted specialists near and far. Finally they found Sachin Mehta, MD, a concussion management expert and medical director for the Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Indianapolis. After appointments with Dr. Mehta and a battery of therapists at Franciscan Physician Network Primary Care & Sports Medicine in Lafayette in December 2018, the diagnosis was confirmed: Brady had indeed sustained a concussion and was continuing to experience the side effects.
A concussion treatment plan was mapped out, including speech, occupational, physical and vision therapies.
"I am getting my strength back, learning to multi-task and improving my hand-eye coordination," said Brady. "My school work is improving, and I hope to get myself baseball-ready."
Brady, who plans to study sports management when he goes to college, continues to see the therapists four to five times a week; he meets regularly with Dr. Mehta, who oversees his concussion management plan.
"He's a different child now that he is getting the treatment he needed all along," said Crysta, who credits her family's faith for sustaining them through the ordeal. "The Franciscan Health therapists in Lafayette and Dr. Mehta have helped us so much. The resources, care and compassion they have given Brady are unlike anything we experienced at any other facility. We literally have traveled to or looked into programs all over the country trying to get him the help we knew he needed. The team at Franciscan has been the answer to our prayers. We are getting our son back and will be forever grateful to this program for their help."
A concussion can be a serious, but invisible injury. Get the facts about the health implications, warning signs and treatment plans. Download our free concussion guide.