HARVEY, La. -- It was March 2010 when another player hit Nate Geller in the back of the head with a lacrosse stick.
“I fell down and I got back up and I fell back down because I was dizzy,” he said.
But he continued playing, and his injury to his brain got worse.
The next day, he said, he had a huge headache, had trouble keeping his balance and was losing his ability to see clearly.
“My peripheral vision was spinning and blurry,” he said. “It's like when you spin around in a circle you kind of lose your balance. It was kind of like that.”
He said it got worse as he lost the ability to concentrate. He couldn't go to school full time.
His mother said a series of doctors told him for more than a year there wasn't much they could besides prescribing Ritalin and narcotics.
“They said, you know, he's not going to get better,” said Eileen Geller, Nate’s mother.
As we showed you in our first story about Nate last May, when they finally sought out hyperbaric oxygen treatment a year ago, Dr. Paul Harch videotaped Nate's difficulty walking.
“Walking very gingerly, couldn’t see well, his balance was off, having trouble cognitively expressing himself,” Harch said. “A kid whose life had been significantly altered.”
After the first hyperbaric treatment, Eileen Geller said, “Nate came out and said, ‘Mom, I feel better already.’”
They say a full battery of treatments led to dramatic improvement.
“And Nate this fall was able to go to full-time school. He read the hunger games,” Eileen Geller said.
“In general it has helped improve focus, headaches, balance,” Nate Geller said.
Harch said “he’s a different person.”
“I mean he's almost back to his previous life and level of function.”
Nate's back this week getting a treatment boost after some symptoms started coming back.
Harch said the oxygen treatment repairs tissue damage and could be part of the answer for pro football players who suffer brain injuries on the field.
“With acute concussion when you can do this very, very early,” Harch said, “and it's remarkable amelioration of their symptoms and improvement.”