Marquette cheerleader knows danger of concussions firsthand

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Concussions have, at times, dominated NFL and college football headlines, but as all too many parents know, any athlete can suffer a concussion, from playing any sport. In fact, a cheerleader had her life turned upside down until he received the right treatment.

Jon Duncan is a sophomore cheerleader at Marquette University. Last February, he was cheering at the Golden Eagles vs. DePaul game when, during a routine exercise the squad had done countless times, a teammate fell on his head.

Dizzy, and with his pupils dilated, Duncan was examined by a student athletic trainer. After the game, Duncan’s father took him to the hospital, where he underwent a CT scan.

Instead of resting, Duncan, an excellent and driven student, took three exams at Marquette, and given his condition at the time, the results weren’t surprising.

Duncan continued going to class two weeks later, and even though concussion tests showed improvement, he was still struggling in school, and his symptoms persisted.

Finally last April, a full two months after the accident, Duncan’s father contacted Dr. Kevin Walter — a concussion expert who specializes in pediatric sports medicine at Children’s Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin. He took Duncan through a thorough physical exam and assessment.

Dr. Walter says recovery time after a concussion is unique for every person. As difficult as it is to be patient, following protocol could prevent the recurrence of concussions.

Dr. Walter says families who want the same gold standard of treatment for their child as a Packers player receives.

Today, Duncan is thankful to be healthy and with a brain that is fully-functioning.

He has a message for anyone who suffers a concussion.

Duncan decided to retire from cheerleading, but he’s been back at Marquette University full-time, and his grades are outstanding.