Sports Medicine Patient Stories :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Andreas’ concussions took him out of school and sports. His family turned to the Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic because of our unique expertise in caring for young athletes like him.
The X-ray came back normal, but Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine physicians still suspected a stress fracture was to blame for Jasmine's pain. They were right.

Patient Stories

At Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine, we realize that athletes have specialized concerns – they want to get better and get back in the game. That's why we want you to meet some of our patients – they've been down the road to recovery and want to share their successes with you.

Jarrod Gilliam

Jarrod’s injury began during lacrosse season his Freshman year. We believe he strained his hamstring because not only was he playing lacrosse, but he was also lifting and participating in open gyms for basketball. When lacrosse season ended, we assumed it would get better with a couple weeks of rest.

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When he was still having pain, Jarrod began to worry, as he was leaving for basketball camp in a few weeks. We scheduled an appointment at Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine, where he began functional rehab with Kerry Waple. She worked with him and was able to get him to where he could go to camp and participate. He had a slight set back during summer league, but he kept working with Kerry at Nationwide Children’s and it got better. Jarrod was able to go on and have a successful football season and is currently in basketball season with no pain in his hamstring. It is important to him that he stays healthy, as he is heading to Florida on spring break with his lacrosse team.

The most difficult part of all of this is being patient. It works, it just takes some time. Your child wants to hurry up and get back in the game, but don’t rush it. In the long run, it is worth it. Explain to your child that if you try to go back too soon, you could do more damage and be out even longer.

  • Birthday: 8/25/95
  • Favorite Food: Fettuccini
  • Siblings: Kyle – 13
  • Hometown: Lewis Center
  • Favorite Sport: Lacrosse
  • Favorite Athlete: Craig Krenzel
  • Favorite Sports Team: Buckeyes
  • Sports you play: Football, Basketball, Lacrosse
  • How you got interested in sports: playing since childhood

Chris Skaggs

During the third week of my 2009 varsity football season I received a pretty sever concussion. Playing wide receiver I was blindsided by a strong safety and was hit helmet to helmet. I had excruciating headaches, loss of sleep, increased irritability, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise for over a week following the hit.

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No one knew exactly how long I would be out for. I was told that it could be anywhere from two weeks up to the rest of the season! The hardest part of the entire ordeal was seeing my starting spot be taken and not knowing if I would ever get it back.

The best advice I could give someone going through a concussion injury is to listen to your doctors and don’t try to be “tough” and come back too soon. You only get one brain, don’t take it for granted.

  • Birthday: October 25, 1992
  • Favorite food: Slushies from Speedway
  • Siblings: Andrew (21)
  • Hometown: Pataskala, Ohio
  • Favorite sport: Baseball
  • Favorite athlete: Tim Lincecum
  • Favorite sports team: New York Yankees
  • Sports I play: Football (9 years), Baseball (11 years), Basketball (9 years)
  • How I got interested:
    • Football – I used to watch my brother play and I wanted be like him.
    • Baseball – I went to a Columbus Clippers game as a young kid and thought it as the coolest thing I had ever seen.
    • Basketball – I used to have a hoop in my driveway and would just shoot for hours at a time.

Chris Skaggs' Story submitted by his parents, Hunter and Melissa Skaggs

It was just another Friday night football game against what we would consider a rival in our town. Chris had been playing well on both offense and defense. It was the fourth quarter, so as a parent you’re beginning to breathe again as the game is coming to a close. You have to remember though; it’s not over till it’s over. WHAM! Helmet to helmet hit while going for a low passed ball as a receiver.

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The defender had taken him out and Chris never knew what hit him. Several minutes went by as he was checked over and then helped off the field, and our Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine athletic trainer Tina was assisting him the whole time. Our team physician from Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine, Dr. Cuff was also there and began to examine him immediately after they had gotten him off the field. Concussion for sure, maybe more. He went home that night and back to the athletic trainer the next day. Headaches became common for a while. Our athletic trainer had given him a baseline concussion test prior to the season beginning and I have never been more grateful for a test. That information really helped Dr. Cuff determine the extent of the injury and how he was healing.

It had taken a few weeks for him to be released and get back into the game, but he did. It was hard for him to watch his teammates play without him but he soon realized that he had to do what the doctor said and that this brain needed some rest to recover. We had just started with the Nationwide Children's athletic training program at our school and a lot of parents were not really sure about the pre-testing. They have made a believer out our family and Tina and Chris have developed a relationship through this process as well as his type I diabetes. He knows that Tina always there to help him out and to look out for his best “physical” interest when it comes to health management.

Our family is grateful to our athletic trainer Tina, our team physician Dr. Cuff and the staff at Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine as he went through visits and an MRI.


Joe Chandler

Joe felt a pain in his lower back which hurt when he ran or kicked the soccer ball.  After about a month with no improvement, we finally scheduled an appointment at Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine and had several tests over the next few weeks which confirmed that Joe had a stress fracture in his lower back.

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Thankfully, no surgery was required, but treatment consisted of wearing a back brace and limiting activity to nothing more than walking for several months.  This was hard, but Joe played a lot of video games to pass the time.

It was such a relief when Joe was pain free and able to start the functional rehabilitation.  After about 2 months of rehab, Joe returned to soccer and played on his high school team this fall with no problems.  He continues to do his stretching and core strengthening exercises several times a week.

Do what they say.  Wear your back brace as much as they tell you.  I wore a t-shirt under the brace to help avoid irritation.  Once rehab starts, do your exercises faithfully every day.  They don’t really take that long to do. So just do it.  It helps when someone does them with you.

Watching games from the sidelines was difficult, but can help pass the time and make you still feel a part of the team.

I had no problem with soccer this fall.  I just added a few of my rehabilitation exercises to the warm-up routine the team did.  It is a little harder to remember to exercise now that soccer is over, but my mom reminds me.

  • Birthday: 9/21
  • Favorite Food: pancakes
  • Siblings: 3 brothers
  • Hometown: Gahanna  
  • Favorite Sport: Soccer
  • Favorite Sports Team: Celtic FC
  • Sports: Soccer since 4 yrs old
  • How interested in the sport: Brothers played

Samantha Miller

During the winter of my freshman year, I was playing club volleyball. I started having back problems that affected how much I could play. My school athletic trainer Amanda refereed me to Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine. I went through a bunch of tests and I found out I have Spina Bifida Occulta. I didn’t really know what that was or what it could do to me until my doctor explained it to me.

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I had to sit out at nationals for softball that summer, and half of my school volleyball season. That was the worst feeling ever. The best thing I could do was just be there for my team and cheer them on. But, with the rest and rehab I did, I came back to play. Now I still have to do my therapy almost every day to keep playing softball, and I know how important it is so that my back wont hurt anymore.

  • Birthday: 8/9/92
  • Favorite food: Pasta
  • Siblings: Nate, Nick, Saiena, Bryan and Ericka
  • Hometown: Reynoldsburg
  • Favorite sport: Softball
  • Favorite athlete: Natasha Watley
  • Favorite sports team: OSU
  • Sports I play: Softball (9 years)
  • How you got interested in your sport: Family

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700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000