Emma's Success Story

Emma and her Physical Therapist, Corinne, standing together and smiling.Emma Rooks is a sophomore women’s ice hockey and softball player at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. Last November, Emma was hit during a hockey game and, a few days later, found out she suffered a concussion.

Three months after her diagnosis, Emma began physical therapy at our NovaCare Rehabilitation center in Cold Spring, which is a newly-named Select Sports Center of Excellence. Corinne Meisel, physical therapist, worked with Emma once a week for a month until she was able to take the ice again.

“Corinne was amazing and so helpful,” said Emma. “She helped me through everything. She lifted my spirits, made me feel welcomed and was someone who I could talk to about everything.”

As a college student, Emma enjoys sports and being social. “I was unable to do either of those things while I had my concussion,” said Emma. “I didn’t play hockey for four months, when I had never gone more than two weeks without playing basically my entire life”.

Needing to stay home to rest and get better, not being able to see her friends or play hockey took a mental toll on Emma. “I realized that I had lost myself in the months that I was alone.”

At the beginning of physical therapy, Emma felt like she didn’t know what to do with herself. All she wanted to do was play hockey and be with her friends, but with the hockey season over and softball season about to begin, her main goal was focused on softball.

After a long recovery and hours of physical therapy, Emma made it back on the ice this past spring. “When I stepped back on the ice for the first time in four months, I had hope," said Emma. "I believed I’d be able to play the whole softball season and continue my hockey career. When I was finally able to work out again without any pain, it felt amazing."

The 2022-23 ice hockey season for Saint Benedict bagan Oct. 15 with a trip to Bethel University. Now fully healed, Emma thought back to her physical therapy experience. “I am so happy with my experience with NovaCare. They were all amazing and very helpful. I feel like I’m on top of the world."

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