Josh Plesce, a senior soccer player at Aldie, Virginia’s John Champe High School, was one of the athletes featured in this week’s special report on concussions in Sports Illustrated. The article tells the harrowing story of Josh’s experience with the chronic effects of multiple head injuries, including recurring pain and dizziness that was so debilitating that he began contemplating suicide.
A team of various doctors had Josh on 15 pills a day at one point, and he even tried Botox injections and opioid patches to stop the severe headaches and other symptoms he was experiencing. A PET-CT scan of his brain led to a diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalpathy (CTE), the degenerative brain condition that is caused by repeated traumatic brain injury and is being found in many ex-boxers and football players.
Fortunately for Josh, concussion specialists at the University of Pittsburgh disagreed with the diagnosis and were able to clear up nearly all of his injury symptoms after four months of specialized rehabilitation treatments. We were pleased to read that Josh is feeling better, doing well in school, and will be able to play in games around Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley for the Knights again this spring.