Alakai Mashima, a 2017 Punahou School grad, played defensive back for the Buff ‘n Blues…
Concussions and symptoms of head injuries are appropriately coming to the forefront of attention in surfing. Although head-related injuries are all too common in the sport, few cases are ever reported due to the misbelief that if you’re not knocked unconscious, then you don’t have a concussion.
Professional surfer Wyatt McHale recently experienced a concussion. Ordinarily, the 20-year-old North Shore native barrels through the waves–powerful, confident and precise – obviously in love with the ocean and his sport. But on this particular wave, Wyatt was violently shaken underwater.
“I knew it was a concussion because I had all the symptoms,” recalled Wyatt. “I had difficulty concentrating. I was in a fog. I couldn’t really see. My vision was blurry. I had headaches, nausea – the whole nine yards.”
Like many others, Wyatt assumed he’d recover without treatment. But after struggling with symptoms for several months, he decided he’d better take action.
Left untreated, “I might not get better,” he thought.
He reached out to other surfers who had experienced similar head trauma. Fellow waterman Mikey O’Shaughnessy responded by connecting Wyatt to Dr. Keifer.
Dr. Keifer quickly brought Wyatt in for a brain map, then continued with weeks of personalized treatments. Wyatt’s fogginess gradually began to clear.
“It felt like a slow build,” he recounts. “When I first went in, it was pretty hard for me to carry on a conversation, or even focus on anything. But after 50 treatments with Brain Health Hawaii, I’m more attentive and more able to be part of a conversation.”
Thanks to surfers like Wyatt and Mikey for sharing their health journeys. Their stories are raising awareness about concussion dangers and symptoms of brain injury; and the restorative and performance enhancement benefits of Brain Health Hawaii treatment.
With surfing now declared an Olympic sport, reports show that the number of surfers will grow exponentially. We hope surfers of all levels will stay safe out there and seek help if needed.