I grew up in Trussville, Alabama and I am one of seven children, so our house was always busy with activity. I've always enjoyed being outdoors. In high school I participated in mountain biking, and now in my twenties I enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors.
When I was little, I was always finding things to make and using anything I could to do it. My primary tool was duct tape. At 15, I built my first real wood piece, a shelf for my room. Then I helped build a manger scene for my mom. Since then, I have developed a love for this and have built a lot over the years, continuing through high school.
Soon after graduating college, I started my own business - Slagheap Design. I have always had a passion for being creative and working with my hands, so I really enjoy making custom furniture and wood pieces.
I have always wanted to work for myself and start my own business in custom furniture. I attended The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and got my bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship. In college, I learned a lot about branding and identifying a good target audience. These two areas really helped me to gain knowledge of what it would take to start a business, and I was able to start Slagheap Design right before I graduated from UAB.
In January of this year, I was working on a custom cutting board and was using a woodworking planer. I put the cutting board through the planer to smooth it out when the board kicked back and severely bent back the thumb on my right hand. Immediately after this happened, there wasn’t too much pain, but I looked at my thumb and knew something wasn’t right. I called my brother Caleb who is an athletic trainer for Dr. Lyle Cain at Andrews Sports Medicine, and he said I should see a doctor for my hand.
I scheduled an appointment and was treated by Dr. Daniel Smith the next day at Andrews' Trussville clinic. Dr. Smith confirmed that my thumb was dislocated popped my back into place in clinic. He told me that due to the force of the board and my pain and swelling that I likely torn some tendons and I may need surgery , or my thumb would continue to periodically pop out of place.
Two days later, I visited Andrews Sport Medicine's Birmingham clinic and was seen by hand & wrist specialist, Dr. Christopher Beaumont. After reviewing my x-rays and evaluating my thumb, Dr. Beaumont confirmed I had carpometacarpal joint dislocation (CMC dislocation) and highly recommended surgery. Honestly, I didn’t want to go through with the surgery because I knew it would slow me down with my work projects. I was working on a custom, 9-foot table for a client and I was on a tight deadline.
After Dr. Beaumont performed my surgery, I had to take a break from working on the custom table for a couple of weeks to let my hand heal. I felt discouraged because I had to stop doing what I loved for a while.
I started therapy a couple of weeks after surgery. I went to Therapy South and saw two occupational hand therapists, Kramer and Quinn. They were incredible and helped me to get my mobility back. I was very stiff and could barely move my hand; however, once I had gone through therapy, I had my full range of motion back.
The entire process with both Dr. Smith and Dr. Beaumont and their staff was great. Dr. Beaumont and his clinical coordinator, Aprille, were very helpful and answered the many questions I had pre and post-surgery.
I was 100% back to normal about 2 months after surgery and I was able to build again. I am very grateful to Dr. Smith, Dr. Beaumont, and my occupational therapists for helping me achieve Victory Over Injury!