Concussion: Katy Curd's Story - Video

Sep 19, 2017 at 8:50
by ROSE Bikes  

Katy Curd, 2014 4X World Champion and Downhill elite rider crashed hard in June 2016 which resulted in a complex and long-term brain injury. This video shows her story and the road to recovery, and why concussion and hitting your head should be taken seriously.

bigquotesWe decided to start filming the project to actually raise a bit of awareness about concussion, I know for a fact I'm not the only rider who has been through it and I'm sure I won't be the last. If this gets one rider or anyone thinking about the seriousness of a blow to the head then that's all we can ask for. I'm sure I could have saved months of frustration and pain if I had just listened to my body at the start and sat out for one race but as a typical racer, I tried to carry on which resulted in me having to sit out for over a year. It's been a hard year with many ups and downs but thanks to the constant support from Adrian Stokes at Pure Body Balance I am now back on my bike and things are looking good for 2018! The plan is to just continue to build things up slowly from where we are right now and get back to racing as soon as that season comes around. I need to say a huge thank you to all my sponsors for sticking by me this year as it means a lot to me to have your support but also to Jake Ireland for going through everything with me, it's not been easy but I couldn't have done it without you.Katy Curd



  • + 46
 props to people that care to help
  • + 30
 After multiple hard crashes, including 2 high speed head firsts, over the space of a year my whole life started to fall apart. I had constant head aches, I couldn't thinks straight, I started being and arsehole & aggressive towards friends and family, my well paid work life deteriorated to the point I walked out on the job. I became depressed and at one point I was actually considering stepping into traffic as a way out.
Thankfully I sought help from my doctor who was absolutely brilliant and got me the help I needed to understand how the impacts and concussions had damaged me and put me on a recovery plan. Now, 3 years from the 1st major crash I still get help from the NHS but my life is now back on track and I am back on my bike.
Never underestimate what a crashes can do to your mind or body and remember it's okay not to be okay and if in doubt, sit it out. There are many good websites that will provide excellent concussion checklists and advice.
  • + 13
 Going through exactly what you went through, and I think the toughest of all the symptoms to deal with is the looks and comments from people "it's just a concussion, get on with it, you're fine". Thanks for the link and continued success with your recovery.
  • + 12
 @OnkleJoachim: Best wishes for your recovery my friend. If you ever struggling or anything just drop me message.
  • + 17
 What a great article and very nicely put together. Hope you're at flat chat again soon Katy and be careful! Also, I think a big amount of respect is due to the sponsors who have stuck beside a racer being out of action. Stephen Murray for example got dropped by GT and they've not paid to get him back to the UK. I know it's part and parcel of the job at hand, but you can't help but feel for these guys who give their all and literally lose it all, Scotty Cranmer included. Respect and healing vibes to all, even a graze. Heal quick.
  • + 2
 Just interested on where you got you Stephen Murray facts from?
  • + 1
 @robdbank: it was on his own just giving page.
  • + 14
 Concussions are absolutely brutal and unless you've been through it, you can't understand what it's like. It took me a week to read again, over a month before i could listen to music, and over 5 months to walk without dizziness. I'm 8 months out from what seemed like a minor blow to the head and i'm finally cleared to get back on a bike/snowboard. Still have issues with bouts of dizziness though.

For comparison, i've been bit by a tick which resulted in over 5 years of health issues, I've shattered my collarbone, got a plate and bone graft to regrow bone, and i would easily pick both of those over a concussion. Hell, i would rather break both legs and arms than hit my head again. When you damage your brain, you lose a piece of yourself and it takes a long time to get it back.
  • + 9
 Absolutely fantastic piece. When I was a kid, I took a knock to the skull and the docs made me shut it down for a while and my mom was insistent about me taking time off from moto. This piece makes me realize I was lucky to do so. Hope you gain every ounce of function back Katy and thank you for having the courage to put this on film.
  • + 2
 I get how little we know about brain injuries and treatment but I am suprized that there is no talk about helmets.
  • + 1
 @MX298: Helmets can only slow your brain down from 30mph to zero so gently brother. GM snapped a carbon V10 lying down. Gravity has no birth control
  • + 7
 Thank you so much Katy for making this video, and for Pinkbike for putting it on the front page, this needs to be talked about more, we as a sport need to lose the bullshit mentality of "oh it's just a head-knock, I'll ride it off" its is give or take a day 2 years since my partner had a small crash (got up from it laughing) that resulted in a huge concussion, no TV, computers, reading for 3 months, 5 months before she could cross the road by herself 8 months before we could ride a footpath together, and 11 months before she could do a full day at work. Mood swings throughout the whole thing, bad memory, lego and colouring in books to get the brain up an running again, pretty much a shit time! And a similar experience with the doctors saying "just a concussion" months of arguing to see specialists to get results, like you said, if you feel not right, keep pushing for answers! Again thanks.
  • + 9
 Still dealing with post concussion symptoms more than a year and a half after an OTB crash. I feel your pain and wish you the best.
  • + 6
 Great video. My wife hit her head mountain biking. Hospitals and docs just said "concussion, she will get over it". Thank god we didn't just listen to them, went to a specialist that dealt with this kind of stuff. Said it was the worst case he had ever seen (she has had 3+ very large concussions over the years). Took 9 months to recover and that was with a recovery where she was actively doing exercises and following the specialists orders. DONT TAKE CHANCES ON YOUR BRAIN, TURNS OUT IT IS PRETTY IMPORTANT!
  • + 5
 I'm a TBI survivor from biking injuries. Definitely think more peeps in our sport need to let go of the macho pads are for wimps tank top crap and take your health seriously.

A concussion is bad......a second concussion in a short time and you're going to ICU to spend a few months draining fluid like me.

Live to ride (again)!
  • + 4
 Props to all in this sport, riders, and sponsors alike for confronting this issue head on and owning it. Not like another mainstream sport that has spent years in denial and even fought some of it's best players in court when they tried to reclaim their lives. KUDOS to mountain bikers. This is how you find solutions to problems. You're hardly able to research an issue and apply that knowledge toward a solution if you spend all your time and energy denying a problem even exists. It'll be sports like ours that drive the research and fund the technology and medical advances to hopefully make all sports head injury prevention more effective and recovery quicker. Thanks so much Katy and Rose for doing this project. My whole family is involved in this sport and we need people like you.
  • + 3
 This is why I cringe watching Rogatkin's crash from Rampage, knowing that he almost died, then got back up and finished his canyon gap run. Concussions are scary and deserve respect. Awareness starts by seeing top athletes like Katy talking about it. Thank you for sharing and happy to see that you are doing better!
  • + 3
 Awareness can also start with you my friend. As riders, if we took only half the time we do looking at bikes and instead researched and educated ourselves on the signs and dangers of concussion & concussive injuries we could then pass on that knowledge to our friends & riding buddies.
Concussions are not just caused by knocks on the head, deceleration events in crashes can cause concussions regardless of the head being impacted.
I to applaud Katy for this article and @Pinkbike for putting it on the front page, but we can all do so much more to help ourselves and our shred buddies.

Happy trails
  • + 2
 @Dropthedebt: Completely agree. Any signs of headache or just not feeling right/lightheaded/nauseated after a crash, head impact or not, should signal you to end your ride. There is so much more to know about concussions...4th year med student here : D but yes us riders have to educate ourselves and pass the info on to and look out for our riding buddies.
  • + 3
 Some years ago I had a massive crash, broke the helmet, took me some weeks to get over it. Some years later I still have the same migranes on the same spot, brain is ok, but the headaches come and go, don't know if it is due to the hit. Don't understand how people still ride their bikes, city bikes, even mtb and cyclocross, without a helmet, every day I see them in Berlin, sometimes I tell them, wear a helmet, a fvck off or that is non of your business is the normal answer. These are strange times we are living in.
  • + 3
 Cracked two Bell supers this season. First time I had no problems despite taking one the hardest falls I have taken walked away ended up getting stitches in my arm. The second initially I had no problems until a couple days later I noticed some occasional dizziness and nausea. I have not ridden for over a month since, most if its gone away but I am still afraid to get back on the bike and risk another hit to the head.
  • + 3
 These posts are proof that all who have experienced concussions understand the severity of them. Please keep warning others, and helping them through the tough times. I cringe watching this video because we can't forget that concussions are cumulative. Your chances increase for getting another one, and they become more severe. Truly the hardest, and wisest action, may be to stop riding your bike altogether. Sorry, but it needs to be said. Try ping pong - supposedly the best sport for brain development.
  • + 4
 Such a talented and nice person who always wants to genuinely help people. I am really glad to see her getting back to her best!! That girl can send it!
  • + 7
 Godspeed Katy...
  • + 3
 Great vid, it was interesting and entertaining. Well done, took me a year to heal from my concussion and always keeping close by as a teacher of sorts. Grateful.
  • + 2
 Recover well, Katy. Thanks for sharing and educating.
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