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  • It's the first night of the Association of  Future Farmers of America (IL FAA) Convention  

  • in Springfield, IL and attendees are getting  their groove on. During the day the young  

  • convention go-ers network, attend lectures and  receive recognition for their accomplishments  

  • in leadership, personal growth and agricultural  education. However, the evening social events  

  • are a chance to laugh, flirt and make new  friends; tonight's party is no exception

  • A young man is crowd surfing across the  cheering, dancing crowd when disaster strikes.  

  • He falls and accidentally kicks 16 year old Riley  Horner in the head on the way down, knocking her  

  • unconscious. Riley is immediately taken by  ambulance to St. John's, a nearby hospital

  • Authorities notify her parents who live 2½  hours away, in Kirkwood, IL. Riley's parents  

  • rush to the hospital, arriving in the wee hours  of the morning. When they see Riley, her knee is  

  • injured and she isn't acting like her normal self. Riley's mother Sarah demands a CT scan. It comes  

  • back normal. Despite the Hornersprotests that something is wrong,  

  • the ER doctors announce that Riley is fine  and release her to the care of her parents

  • The Horners load Riley in their car and begin  the long journey home. But Riley is not fine.  

  • The family's about an hour into their tripwhen Riley, who's sitting in the backseat  

  • starts shaking. She's having a seizure. By the time the family makes it home  

  • Riley's had at least 4 more seizures. She's  readmitted to a different hospital. However,  

  • all tests for major medical conditions come  back negative. Over the next few days Riley  

  • has seizure after seizure, over 35 in total. Her parents notice other odd symptoms,  

  • every two hours Riley seems especially confused  and doesn't remember conversations or events  

  • that just happened. In fact, every morning  Riley wakes up thinking that it's June 11th,  

  • the day she was kicked in the head. The summer wears on. In addition to memory issues,  

  • Riley has dizzy spells, migraines, sensitivity to  light and sometimes slurs her words. The Horners  

  • take Riley to doctor after doctor. However, the  medical professionals are stumped and can offer  

  • no diagnosis. Clearly Riley had a concussionbut she doesn't have a brain bleed or tumor,  

  • nothing unusual shows up on her MRI or CT scans. Riley is forced to develop a system of detailed  

  • note and picture taking to use ascheatsheet to minimize confusion and  

  • help her navigate her daily life. She sets  alarms on her phone for every 2 hours so  

  • she can brush up on events she's forgotten. Frustrated by the lack of help from medical  

  • professionals, Sarah researches and educates  herself about brain injuries. Terrifyingly, she  

  • learns that after six months of experiencing short  term memory issues, a patient may have suffered  

  • irreversible brain damage. She becomes even more  determined to find medical help for her daughter

  • Riley begins her junior year of school and  has a difficult time. She once excelled at  

  • sports and in her studies. Now, she has trouble  focusing and can't remember where her locker is

  • About 3 months after the accident, Riley getsreally bad headache and then becomes unresponsive.  

  • Even though she's breathing and her heart's  beating, she can't be roused for nearly 45  

  • minutes. When Riley finally wakes upshe has tremors in her left arm and leg.  

  • She can't walk. She ends up in the ER againbut the doctors can't determine what's wrong.  

  • They give her crutches and send her home. Sarah reaches out on the internet to bring  

  • awareness to Riley's condition and to raise money  to help alleviate the cost of her daughter's many  

  • tests and doctor's visits. Riley's story is picked  up by various news media. Strangers online alert  

  • the Horners to Cognitive Fx, in Provo, UtahCognitive Fx specializes in the treatment of  

  • concussions through physical and cognitive  therapy using cutting edge neuroscience

  • In November, Riley is able to spend 2 weeks at  Cognitive Fx undergoing diagnosis and treatment.  

  • It's discovered that 4 months after the accidentRiley still has a pretty severe concussion.  

  • On a scale of 0-5, 5 being the worse, Riley has  a 2.5 at the beginning of her treatment. Doctors  

  • suspect that when Riley got concussed, it also  stopped blood to her hippocampus. The hippocampus  

  • is the area in the brain where memories are  created. The lack of blood to the hippocampus  

  • set off a chain reaction and since then certain  areas in Riley's brain receive too much blood flow  

  • while other areas don't receive enough, basically  in the words of Sarah 'making Riley glitchy'.  

  • Thankfully Riley's hippocampus doesn't seem to  be damaged. The hope is that time and therapy  

  • would 'rewire' the pathways in her brain. Within a few days of beginning treatment the  

  • Horners see improvement--when Riley wakes upshe remembers where she is! After 2 weeks of  

  • treatment Riley improves her concussion  score dramatically--from 2.5 to a .13! 

  • Since then, Riley has experienced ups and downsIn March Riley had a seizure at school and briefly  

  • stayed in the hospital. Soon after Covid-19  caused school closure. Quarantine ended up  

  • being a blessing in disguise for Riley. She  was able to spend more time simply recovering  

  • without having to adhere to a strict schedule. The concussion damaged Riley's eyes and she's had  

  • to see a specialist. However, new glasses have  helped immensely. The concussion also caused  

  • digestive problems; for several months after  the accident Riley couldn't eat or digest food  

  • without severe pain. As a result she lost  weight, surviving on granola bars and water.  

  • Eventually doctors came to suspect that oxygen  wasn't circulating correctly through Riley's  

  • diaphragm. Doing breathing exercises she had  learned while at Cognitive Fx prior to eating  

  • helped to lessen the pain. In the ensuing months  Riley's digestive system has slowly settled down

  • Currently in her senior year of high schoolRiley continues to experience memory problems,  

  • migraines and other issues related to Post  Concussion Syndrome. She's doing well in school  

  • and dreams of studying neuroscience and helping  others. Periodically she has online follow up  

  • exams with medical professionals from Cognitive  Fx. She hopes to return to the treatment center  

  • for another round of therapy once it is safe  to do so. Unfortunately, nearly all of the  

  • treatment Riley has undergone is considered  experimental, which means no help from insurance

  • Riley has come a long way since the accidentbut the road ahead presents many challenges.  

  • If you would like to help Riley, please  visit her GoFund Me. A link is available  

  • below in the description.You can learn more  about Riley on her Facebook page: Thank you!

It's the first night of the Association of  Future Farmers of America (IL FAA) Convention  

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Teen's Memory Resets Every Two Hours - She Wakes Up On June 11th Everyday

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/06
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