Concussion Turned Genny Perez’ Life Upside Down

After a driver ran a red light going 90 miles per hour slammed into Genny Perez’ car, she was shaky and upset, but thought she was okay. She went to sleep that night, but the next day could not read and was having trouble remembering things.

As time progressed, Genny began to have difficulty with her work as a fashion designer. She said her brain felt numb, and she did not feel like she could create anything. She had worked so hard to find clients, but gradually, she had to let them go, unable to keep up.

“I felt the floor moving, had pain in my neck and severe headaches that got worse and worse,” says Genny. “I knew it was from the accident but did not understand what was happening.”

She would attend professional meetings where she grew up in New York but had no idea how to get there. She would slur her speech, and noise overwhelmed her. She could not close her eyes without falling. Colleagues thought she was drunk or on drugs.

Genny felt like she was losing her mind. At one desperate point, she said she thought it would be better to die.

Fortunately, Genny found a caring team at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network’s Comprehensive Concussion Program who understood what she was experiencing and could help.

Genny said she was a mess when she arrived at Good Shepherd but that the team sprang into action, providing her with the comprehensive resources and care she needed to recover.

The first priority for Asare Christian, MD, MPH, was to provide Genny with immediate pain relief so she could improve her range of motion. After the trigger point injections he administered, she could move more normally for the first time without pain.

“Hallelujah,” she thought to herself. “There is hope.”

Dr. Christian teamed up with Kyle Klitsch, MD, to design a robust therapy program to help alleviate Genny’s remaining symptoms. Five days a week, she had speech, physical and vestibular therapy. Vision rehabilitation and special glasses, coordinated by Debra Lehr, OD, FAAO, helped improve her vision. She even saw one of Good Shepherd’s neuropsychologists, Martin Diorio, PhD, to help her deal with the anxiety often associated with concussion as well as the grief of losing her career.

The stubborn headaches that would wax and wane but never fully go away, were resolved by Botox® injections. For the first time since the accident, she was headache free.

After sixteen months, Genny finished therapy. She says she is incredibly thankful for everything Good Shepherd did to help her.

With things looking up, she has trips planned to Detroit, Japan and Miami, and her goal is to start working again and designing the beautiful clothing and accessories for which she is known.

“You cannot survive a concussion like this without help,” says Genny. “It is so important to find the right doctor. Good Shepherd saved my life.”

For more information on how Good Shepherd can help see you or a loved one through concussion, call 1-888-44-REHAB or visit GoodShepherdRehab.org.