Tom and Pattiann Berton–dedicated, determined, and passionate parents of 4 boys. Our oldest son was injured at 12 with a concussion. He became physically disabled, legally blind, suffers with horrible daily migraine headaches, and struggled psychologically. After relentlessly searching for help and finding little, we developed IMPACTED, Inc. to share what we learned with our son to overcome and fight the pain and hardships he suffered in order to help other parents and families.
Tom is a Penn State University graduate of Electrical Engineering with his PE license. He works as the Manager of Operations for National Accounts for ABM.
Pattiann is a Penn State University graduate in Elementary Education and is a stay at home mom.
Mr. Lesnett has been a high school administrator for the past ten years and was a high school Social Studies teacher prior to that. He resides in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with his wife and three children. He has assisted numerous school districts in their development of concussion management teams that assist students in their return to the classroom while recovering from their concussion. He has a Masters Degree in School Administration and currently serves as the assistant principal for Peters Township High School.
I have “bumped my head” and had “my bell rung” many times throughout my life. Recounting at least 5 times and being diagnosed with a concussion only following the final episode. My earliest memory of really striking my head was slipping off a rail in kindergarten. I saw stars, became disoriented and nauseous. I, being a kindergarten student, was more afraid of punishment for slipping off a rail than any long term brain injury. Other bangs to the head followed whether playing back yard football or slipping on ice. Most recently I slammed my head into a CD holder which swings down from the ceiling of my car.
The most recent episode also occurred when Impact testing was being implemented where I was working. I didn’t think much of the “bonk” as I rushed to work absent mindedly jumping into my car. My co-workers noticed that I was becoming irritable and just before lunch I developed a significant headache, both of which were uncharacteristic for me. I walked across the hall and took the IMPACT test and scored miserably. I did not rest or even leave work, but things slowly cleared up.
For a long while I had a hard time reading words that scrolled across a screen, or concentrating very long. Maybe others thought I was still irritable and were too polite to say. I was lucky that the symptoms eventually cleared, but some people are not, and mine may have resolved more quickly with the proper rest and treatment. Since then I have treated many patients with headaches, balance disturbance, difficulty walking, difficulty reading, concentrating and sleeping not to mention irritability and change in temper.
As a healthcare community and society in general we are becoming more aware of concussions and the effects of concussion long term. We would not put our star quarterback or point guard back in the game with a torn ACL so why do we push our students and athletes back to school/sport with a bruised brain, the very control center of our body.
In years past denying water breaks were used to “toughen up” athletes. The sentiments of “rub some dirt in it, take a lap, and walk it off” were shared by many coaches. Now we know more about proper hydration/nutrition and performance, we know about allowing injuries to heal properly, and we know that injured athletes do not perform well. Just as we use x-ray’s, MRI’s and on the field tests to evaluate sprains and strains, protocols are in place to evaluate athletes with concussions and head injuries. We, as a society need to be more aware of concussion diagnosis, treatment and return to sport/work/academic protocols.
I hope that by working with IMPACTED Inc. I can help to educate parents, youth, and coaches on the effects of and proper steps towards recognizing and treating concussions. After all everyone “bumps their head” from time to time.
95 W. Beau St, Suite100
Washington, PA 15301
Dr. Jonas E. Marry has been serving his community in private practice since 1999. He is a graduate of Parker School of Chiropractic. His post graduate studies include pediatrics, sports medicine, and functional neurology. Dr. Marry has served as the head instructor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Oscher Life Long Learner’s program, presented at Allegheny General Hospital’s Symposium on Spinal Health, and the Pennsylvania Counselors Association on the Neurology of Mental Illness
Maria Piatt has been an elementary educator for 34 for years. She is a wife and mom of three children. Maria has been active in many school district programs as a parent. Maria has a passion to advocate for children and their needs.