Good Shepherd Helps Eric Kosalko Break Through Effects of Repeated Concussion

January 02, 2018

Eric Kosalko is no stranger to concussions. He remembers getting his first when he was five years old after a collision with a soccer ball left him unconscious. He landed in the hospital later in life from concussions he suffered doing gymnastics. He suffered another concussion from a rollover car accident and another five as a result of his work as a physical education teacher.

All things considered, the Emmaus resident thought he knew a thing or two about concussions. He had always recovered after each incident, but it was not until he suffered the concussions as a physical education teacher that the impact of repeated concussions started to accumulate.

“I thought I was ok, but I started to forget things,” said Eric. “Within a few months, I started to have significant loss of balance, hearing and difficulty with my speech and vision.”

Concerned, he went to see several concussion specialists, but none offered him relief.  When he found Good Shepherd’s Concussion Management Program, he says the difference was immediately noticeable.

“My therapists at Good Shepherd listened and came up with a therapy plan designed just for me,” says Eric. “There’s a combination of services here that is second to none.”

One of those services is the Vision Therapy Program. Eric was first evaluated in 2013 by a neuro optometrist at Good Shepherd, who diagnosed a variety of visual issues. He started vision therapy with Jenna Sopp, MS,OTR/L, who designed a therapeutic program to help resolve difficulties with his central and peripheral vision.

In August of 2016, Jenna connected Eric with Steve Vandenberg, PT, DPT, to further improve Eric’s balance through physical intervention. He said the combination of vision and physical therapy was life-changing.

“I was so demoralized before coming to Good Shepherd,” says Eric, who took a leave of absence from work because of his impairment. “Day to day activities were so tough. I used to fall when grocery shopping because my balance was so bad.”

Together, Steve and Jenna designed a multi-disciplinary treatment plan that focused on challenging how Eric’s senses worked together. They tested his balance by changing the surface he stood on during therapy and challenged his auditory system by playing recorded noises as he was trying to concentrate on a task.

While Eric recognizes that some of the damage he sustained over the years is irreparable, he says the success he has had at Good Shepherd is nothing short of remarkable. He has returned to his job as a physical education teacher and says he feels a lot more confident now than he did before therapy.

“I have had therapy at three other places, and I can honestly say there is no place like Good Shepherd,” says Eric. “They truly took me beyond limits, and it was amazing.”