Stories about: Pediatric Headache Program at Boston Children’s Hospital in Waltham

Our patients’ stories: Treating “all” of Courtney’s headaches

left to right: Alyssa Lebel MD, patient Courtney Macari, Victoria E. Karian, RN, MSN, CPNP, and Lori McDonald-Nolan, RN

School can be hard for any kid, but do you know what it’s like to be in class with really bad headaches that make you want to go home every day, or just not get out of bed? That was my life for some time, until Boston Children’s Hospital helped me get better.

My name is Courtney Macari, and I am 12 years old. When I was only five I had a traumatic brain injury. One day when the whole class was out in the playground, a boy ran into me, bouncing me into the playground slide. When I got up off the ground all of my friends told me that I had a huge bump on the left side of my face. I went to the teacher and told her what had happened, so she sent me to see the nurse. The nurse looked at me and then called my dad, Reggie, to take me to the hospital. At the emergency room the doctors told us that I had a concussion and sent me home. Hours later I had a terrible headache and severe vomiting, so we went back to the emergency room. On that second hospital trip my mom, Nancy, my dad and I were told the worst news—I had a bleed in my brain and needed to be taken in an ambulance to Boston Children’s.

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