“Never ride without a helmet.” Advice, Golisano Children’s Hospital Chief Administrative Officer Armando Llechu says has saved his life—not once, but twice. “I was coming around a bend doing about 23 or 24 miles per hour, and there were some wet grass shavings on the street, and the bike started to slide out from under me and as soon as it caught traction it catapulted me headfirst into the asphalt.”
The helmet he was wearing at the time of the crash is now crushed and cracked. Armando says without this life-saving gear, his injuries would have been serious, possibly fatal. “This is the one I was wearing a couple of weeks ago when I went head first into a tree. Had I not been wearing this helmet, you could image that would be the top of my skull cracked that way,” he said.
While his safety gear may have protected him from death—Armando did experience a concussion with both crashes. “A concussion usually occurs because there’s an injury to the brain. There’s a mild traumatic brain injury, and it changes how the brain functions,” said Dawn Root, a physical therapist with Lee Health.
That change can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, memory loss, even balance problems. “Once we do a thorough evaluation, then depending upon where their deficits lie, then we will work with therapy on improving those deficits,” said Root.
Physical therapist Dawn Root works with patients after a concussion to help them regain their balance and improve their symptoms. Wearing appropriate safety gear and addressing the symptoms early, can help patients manage their concussion and get the treatment they need.