by KATHY LOY | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

When something bad happens, some people say that it isn’t what happened to you that makes the biggest difference, but how you react to it that matters most. If this is the case with Torrey Pines High School student, Tess Baker, then she has a lot of good karma coming her way.

Two years ago, Tess was injured during a surfing competition. After her longboard hit her forehead, she began to feel dizzy and disoriented, so she headed towards the beach. “I was taken to the ER, and was found to have a concussion,” explained Tess. “After two or so weeks of constant headaches and fatigue, I was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome and I was out of the water for about six months.”

Through an internship class at her high school, Tess created a website called brainbuster.org through which she hopes to inform and comfort kids and teens who may have also suffered concussions. She explained that it can be confusing for patients when physicians prescribe a week off of sports for one person versus months off for another. The amount of physical and/or mental rest required to heal is dependent on individual circumstances, which can be frustrating.

[pullquote align=”right”] “Ideally, I would like brainbuster.org to be a place that is kid/teenager friendly and really educates people on what concussions are, the risks involved, answers some confusing questions or speculations about concussions, and creates an overall awareness on concussions and dangers associated with them.” ~ Tess Baker [/pullquote]

“Ideally, I would like brainbuster.org to be a place that is kid/teenager friendly and really educates people on what concussions are, the risks involved, answers some confusing questions or speculations about concussions and creates an overall awareness on concussions and dangers associated with them,” explained Tess.

Perhaps her involvement with the physicians at Children’s Hospital, whom Tess says inspire her, has led to her aspiration of becoming a pediatric surgeon someday. She says her favorite subjects in school are math and science; math because she likes to apply what she knows to abstract concepts and science because it helps her solve problems.

Tess and her family have lived in in the Carmel Valley/Del Mar area for five years, and previously were in Rancho Santa Fe. 17-year-old Tess has three brothers, a twin named Mitch and two older brothers, Brett and Josh. This head injury doesn’t seem to have slowed Tess down. She says, “I really enjoy going on hikes with my mom or friends at the Torrey Pines State Beach, playing racquetball with my dad at various gyms in the county or just hanging out while surfing or snorkeling at the beach with my friends.”

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Name: Tessa (Tess) Riley Baker
Age: 17
School: Torrey Pines High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Laurie de Ghetaldi, Robert Baker
Siblings: Josh (30), Brett (27), Mitch (17)

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