For her treatment, Mia worked with various neurology team members, including experts in behavioral medicine and clinical psychology, as well as occupational and physical therapists.
The FND diagnosis proved to be the crucial first step for Mia on her road to recovery.
“When Mia was told about this [FND] condition, it was almost like it gave her confidence that nothing was wrong with her,” said Gisela.
By meeting regularly with neurology team members, Mia made great progress and, within a few days, was able to sit up and stand without passing out.
Her initial progress led to increased physical therapy, then walking, and eventually her release from the hospital. Once home, Mark and Gisela slowly reintroduced Mia’s workout routine over the next several months to build up her strength.
Although Mia continued to have a few episodes of passing out, the family stayed in close contact with Dr. Ritter and the behavioral medicine and clinical psychology team via telehealth visits.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine also helped, and today Mia says she is “almost 100% back to normal” as she plans an eventual return to the soccer field.
“I’m really ready to get back,” said Mia. “However, I’m going to sit this spring season out. Soccer is my passion, but I will run track and field to stay in shape and hope to get back into soccer in the fall.”
She also hopes that other young athletes recovering from brain-related injuries will listen to her advice.
“Even when the test results show you are fine, sometimes your brain takes time to heal,” said Mia. “I didn’t like being in the hospital, but I will not let this get in my way of playing sports, as it could happen to anyone.”
(Published March 2022)