Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center recognizes Cedar Shoals High School football player Juandarion "Juan" Silas as Athlete of the Month for October, a program that recognizes one high school student athlete each month for his or her perseverance through an athletic injury or medical illness either on or off the field.
Silas, 16, was nominated as the program’s Athlete of the Month for the month of October following his return from a concussion, which he sustained during a game with the Cedar Shoals High School Panthers football team, for which he plays as linebacker.
“Juan hates to miss a play or practice, but he always supports his team and the other players even when he’s unable to participate,” said Patrick Murray, Piedmont Athens Regional athletic trainer supporting Cedar Shoals athletes. “When he sustained a concussion during a game, he was unable to play or practice following that injury. Instead, he helped with water, equipment and cheering on or peer coaching other players on the team, showing his commitment through all obstacles.”
In a ceremony this week, the Cedar Shoals football team gathered before afternoon practice to recognize Silas as the team’s Athlete of the Month. The Athlete of the Month Program was established by Piedmont Athens Regional’s Orthopedic Sports Medicine team in an effort to support and recognize local, hard-working student athletes.
“Each month, we focus on one high school and meet as a committee, which includes the school’s athletic director, other members of their team and members of the athletic training program,” said Katie Terrell, athletic trainer and outreach coordinator for the hospital’s sports medicine program. “These amazing athletes overcome so much in order to play each year, and we wanted to find another way to support them as well as our community.”
After sustaining his injury, Silas had to rest for a week until all of his concussion symptoms were resolved, according to Murray. Symptoms of concussion include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness and excessive fatigue.
“There's no specific cure for concussion, but rest and restricting activities allows the brain to recover,” said Murray. “I worked with Juan as he completed a gradual, return-to-play recovery program. During this time, he continued to attend practices to support his team. No injury is easy, but Juan showed great leadership, commitment to his team and discipline to the sports during his recovery time.”
Silas has since made a full recovery, and continues to work with Murry to ensure he stays safe and doesn’t experience any lingering issues as a result of his concussion.
As the Athlete of the Month for October, Silas’s photo will be featured in the Orthopedic Sports Medicine facility located on Piedmont’s Oconee Health Campus in Watkinsville, Ga.
For more information about services offered through Piedmont Physicians Orthopedic Sports Medicine of Athens, visit piedmont.org/AthensOrthoSportsMed.