Jan 25, 2019
Head Injuries Cause Retirement
Sharon Versyp

After 19 years of playing basketball, Nora Kiesler, a senior center for Purdue University’s women’s basketball team, is giving up the game. The reason? She recently suffered her fifth concussion in four-and-a-half years.

According to the Journal & Courier, Kiesler’s first concussion occurred while she was still in high school, but the last four were all at Purdue-including three over a six-month span in 2016. The most recent head injury took place during an offseason workout in July when Kiesler was elbowed in the face. Although the medical staff said the contact was “minimal,” Kiesler had a “really maximum reaction to it.”

“In the case of other people, they would’ve gotten right back on again,” said Kiesler’s mother, Courtney Dillon.

It wasn’t the case for Kiesler. After her previous concussions, she had undergone Botox treatments, maximum doses of different medications and vitamins, and a 24-hour IV to provide relief from the headaches and migraines she suffered. This time, Tad Seifert, MD, Kiesler’s neurologist, sat her down to have a difficult discussion.

“We sat in his office,” Kiesler said. “He said, ‘This is a conversation I never wanted to have with you. This is a decision I never wanted to make. I can’t let you go back on the floor. I think it’s time to stop playing.'”

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