On a Saturday in January of 2019, I was performing at a gymnastics meet in Memphis, Tennessee. During warm ups, my left Achilles began hurting more than ever. It was not unusual to experience it bothering me. In the past couple of years, I had already been experiencing some discomfort in that area. Therefore, I preceded to prepare to perform for my floor routine, which is one of my favorite events.
As I was performing a double Arabian in my floor routine, I heard a pop like the sound of a gunshot. At that moment, I knew I was in trouble. Even though I was lying on the mat in pain, all I could think about was my hopes for a college scholarship and my dreams as an athlete being shattered.
The paramedic at the event splinted my leg so my tendon would not roll up into my calf. Then I was transported to a hospital in Memphis. I was told that my Achilles was torn. One of my teammate’s family members knew Dr. Norman Waldrop at Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham and recommended I see him. Because Andrews Sports Medicine is very well known, I first thought that it would be a while before I could get an appointment.
To my surprise, in less than 48 hours from the time of my injury, I was in pre-op for outpatient surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. Dr. Waldrop confirmed that I had not only injured my left Achilles tendon but it had ruptured and he needed to surgically repair it.
It has been over a year since my injury and I am so grateful to Dr. Waldrop and his nurse practitioner, Heather Greer. Every time I called the office, they made me feel like I was a priority. Heather was great to speak with on the phone and was always very encouraging.
After months of physical therapy and working with my coaches, I was on my way to returning to gymnastics. However, I was petrified. Dr. Waldrop heard my concerns and encouraged me. He informed me what to expect with my body as it adjusted to performing again.
A year later from my initial injury, my debut return to gymnastics was at a meet in Denver, Colorado. I performed in limited events. It was not my best competition but just getting back was success enough for me.
I continue to work hard and am proud to announce that I will be continuing my gymnastics career at the University of Missouri. I would not have been able to reach my goals without the care I received from Dr. Waldrop and Andrews Sports Medicine!