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TCO Comeback story winners

May 17, 2019 - TCO

Congratulations! TCO Comeback Story Contest Winners

Over the course of just 9 weeks, we received over 150 TCO Comeback stories, and every single one was inspiring, motivational, impressive, and truly amazing.

We’re honored to be surrounded by such a powerful community of people who made incredible comebacks. You shared stories of overcoming adversity, pushing yourselves to new mental and physical limits, and – most importantly – lifting up those around you.

Congratulations to our six winners, whose stories are outlined below, and THANK YOU to everyone who participated.

Connor Jo Lewis

connor jo arms wide by ocean


Connor Jo’s TCO Champion: Chris Doney, MS, ATL, ATC

Connor Jo’s Comeback Story:

My brother and I were born with cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic condition in which the body produces thick, sticky mucus that can clog the lungs. Growing up on a farm south of Fargo-Moorhead, we were just your typical active kids, playing softball, basketball, and football. As a girl, I loved football, and even played on the boy’s tackle football team in through 9th grade. I continued my basketball and pole vaulting careers at the University of Minnesota, Morris, while also playing numerous intramurals. During my junior year, the first devastating injury occurred while I was playing intramural flag football. I had made a cut to avoid the defender and hyperextended my knee. I knew instantly I had torn my right ACL, and I was right.

I remember distinctly after the tear that my first concern was not for my knee, but my lungs. Physical activity is crucial for maintaining good airway clearance with CF, and I was worried that the long rehabilitation period would decrease my lung function to a new low and potentially never return to the pre-injury level. Within two weeks, I was diagnosed, had surgery and was in physical therapy in Morris, MN. I rehabbed diligently and sat out the entire basketball season, which was even more difficult because I had finally earned a starting role. During the rehab process, needing a way to maintain my lung function lead me to a competitive outlet in triathlons. Swimming straight, running straight and biking straight were safer for my ACL, but I missed cutting sports, especially football. The following year, I returned to basketball, playing my senior year and leading the team to a birth in the national tournament; however, my range of motion never fully returned and knee pain persisted.

In 2017, three years after my ACL tear, I signed with the Minnesota Vixen, a women’s semi-professional American football team based in Minneapolis. Every practice, scrimmage and game left me feeling energized and alive, like I was playing the sport I was meant to play. I loved it and played very well in the first four games of my rookie season as an outside linebacker. I intercepted and returned three passes for a touchdown. Then, while playing our rivals in Kansas City, I made a cut to tackle an opponent and felt my right leg give way. Trainers misdiagnosed the injury as a hamstring spasm, but I knew deep down that my ACL was gone, again. I found myself looking down the long, bleak road of 9-12 months of physical therapy and possibly never touching the field again. Another period of time where I both needed to rehab my knee and somehow maintain my lung function. I did it once, I could do it again.

I remember talking to my dad on the phone right after the injury. “Maybe you shouldn’t play football again,” he suggested softly. I wasn’t expecting my gut reaction to be so strong. I just knew I had to play again. “No,” I said, “I’m going to work my butt off and be ready for the next season. I’m going to do it because I can and because I love football.” He understood and told me to get working.

I had my ACL surgery, using the patellar graft this time, with TCO surgeon, Dr. Corey A. Wulf, less than two weeks after the injury. Within a week I was on the sidelines of the football field, cheering for my teammates at every practice and every game. Beyond rehab, I devoted myself to any type of fitness I could do to keep my lung function high, including crutching to the grocery store and back. My physical therapist told me I would be back running within 8 weeks, and with her help, I was. In March 2018, nine months after the surgery, I was cleared to play football, just in time for the Vixen’s first football game of the season. I definitely did not feel fully recovered, but was able to do my job on the field. However, I suffered from excruciating knee pain stemming from the patellar tendon. This pain kept me from using proper mechanics, reduced me to tears while driving, and persisted even during sleep. After trying self-training and a few places around the Twin Cities with no luck, I feared this was a pain I would have to live with for the rest of my life.

I kept searching for the help I needed, and ultimately found the solution at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Training HAUS, which had just opened in Eagan. Training at the “HAUS” has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started going to the Training HAUS four mornings a week. There I found out that my surgical leg had barely 50% of the strength of my non-surgical leg and that I had been severely overcompensating for the entirety of my 2018 football season. I was extremely fortunate to not have torn my ACL yet again, all-while helping the Vixen reach the national championship game and earning All-American status in the process. At the Training HAUS, Chris and Michael continually worked to develop the best possible customized plan to improve my quad strength, reducing my knee pain, and to make me performance-ready for the upcoming football season, which started in April. Almost instantly, I saw a difference as the pain started to subside and my running form, cutting form, and overall explosiveness improved.

The combination of rehabilitation and performance training I continue to receive at the TCO Training HAUS is unparalleled. My TCO hero is Chris Doney, one of my athletic trainers at the Training HAUS, who has devoted countless hours to creating specialized training programs focused on isolating and strengthening my quad. Using the Biodex, a machine that measures muscle strength, we were able to track my improvements from 50% quad strength when I started to over 85%. I am still working towards complete symmetry. The knee pain has subsided, something I did not think was even possible a year ago. My TCO comeback has not been a linear process, but I cannot say this enough, I feel the best I have felt in SIX years (prior to my first ACL tear), and much of that thanks goes to my hero(s) at the Training HAUS, Chris and Michael. With commitment and a whole team behind me, I am entering my third season with the Minnesota Vixen fully healthy–lungs and knee, pain-free, and ready to compete. #HAUSBuilt

 

Paige Zender

paige zender tco comeback physical therapy

Paige’s TCO Champion: Lukas Cash, PT, DPT

Paige’s Comeback Story:

Although my comeback story is not complete, I would not be as far as I am today without my surgeon, Dr. David W. Anderson and especially my Physical Therapist and “best friend” Luke Cash. I am in the 9th inning of my recovery and am confident I will end the game stronger than when I started. My setback began the Sunday evening of August 5th 2018, the night before Club Softball tryouts. My friends and I decided to play a game of 3 on 3 basketball in the Eagan league. While playing, I went up for a lay-up and came down and heard a “POP”. I fell down in pain not knowing the journey I would endure. Later, I found out that I tore my ACL in my right knee. Devastating for a very athletic 13 year old girl, my journey ahead was going to last for 6 to 9 months or longer and I was not sure if I could do it.

The day I heard I had torn my ACL was the toughest day of my life. However, within an hour of the news, all of my best friends hopped on their bikes and were at my house to just sit with me, watch movies and to just be there, as they knew how hard this was for me. I knew I needed surgery and I was scared, disappointed and sad. The next 10 days were filled with love and support from my family and friends and a lot of Doctors appointments in between. The night before surgery I was very nervous and scared not sure what lay ahead of me.

On the day of surgery I woke up early and got ready to head to TCO in Eagan, the day of the Vikings Training Camp scrimmage vs the Jaguars. Once there, I was brought into a room and they prepared me for surgery. I was confronted by the wonderful nurse who took such good care of me, reminding me that everything was going to be alright. Dr. Anderson came in and explained what was going to happen during surgery and then the next thing I remember was the nurse giving me water and my parents and big brother coming into see me.

Two days later I started my long comeback when I started Physical Therapy. When I met my Physical Therapist Luke Cash he introduced himself as my new “best friend” , I thought that was a little weird, but little did I know that he was right. He has become one of my best friends, big brother, biggest supporter, as well as, my worst critic, but in a good way. At first, Physical Therapy was boring as all I was able to do was try to lift my leg and work on my range of motion. But as the weeks passed, I was able to do more and more. The day I was finally able to ditch my immobilizer was a great day, but the day I was able to walk out of TCO Eagan on my own without the crutches was spectacular. I even asked my mom if we could run them over with our truck as I was so excited to be done with them and I never want to see them again!

As the months passed and many more therapy sessions under my belt, I slowly continued to improve and was able to start doing more and more. The day Luke tossed me a basketball and I was able to start to dribble and the day I went over to the HAUS and was able to start shooting, made my slow comeback start to feel a lot more bearable. I was finally starting to do a few small sports activities making me feel more like myself. Shortly after I got a basketball back in my hand I got the best news so far, Dr. Anderson told me that I could finally start to swing a bat. I was so excited to tell all my closest friends that I could finally start to slowly participate in the sport I love.

My comeback hit a slow setback when I had my first “TRAC” testing at 6 months post-surgery. I knew going into the testing that my quads were not equal in strength but finding out they were only about 51% to the other left me angry and discouraged. After having a long heart to heart with Luke regarding how far I had come and getting our game plan of how we were going to build strength in my right quad. I was ready for the next 3 months and more and more determined to work hard and lean into my weakness and be as prepared as I could for the next TRAC testing.

I have been so lucky to have the best Physical Therapist, Luke, who not only has been there to help me heal physically, but has been there to help me heal mentally. He has helped me every step of the way, encouraging me, pushing me by helping me set goals and helping me not get discouraged when things didn’t go as I had hoped. Luke is such a good motivator, he knows just what to say at the right time to make me feel better and more willing to keep pushing harder and harder every day. Because of Luke and my great experience at TCO Eagan, I now want to be a Physical Therapist, so I can help young athletes that were in the same situation as I, like Luke helped me and aid them in creating their own comeback story.

This setback really allowed me to show my determination and courage while at physical therapy and at home. I made sure to do whatever they said. That meant that I did my exercises as many times as I could and then did five more. It was and still is tough to stay determined and have the courage to stick with it even if times get tough. The first couple weeks after surgery were the most difficult, because I could not move and had crutches. Once I started physical therapy, that gave me a goal to work towards, but it was very slow and I was not seeing the progress I expected to see. Before, everything always came easy to me whether it was basketball, softball or school. This was much harder and I was not sure I could do it. It was here that I needed to dig even deeper and work even harder, even when I was not seeing progress. The support of family and friends made all the difference for me to keep pushing and encouraging me. Now, at my 8-month point, I am 85% healed and seeing great progress with my PT and back playing limited sports; I can see the end of the road towards full recovery and now it makes me want to work even harder to get back to playing with my teams again!

During this journey, I learned that you have to be determined to be able to achieve your goals. Also you have to have a lot of courage because it’s not easy for an athletic 13 year old to stop playing sports. I believe that when people break barriers they used determination and courage. Even though my journey is not over, I will continue to have courage and to be determined and will continue to dream of big goals for myself. This injury was really crushing, but I am beginning to see that it may have given me the best gift of perseverance and knowing what I really want and how to work hard for it every day.

Comments from Paige’s MN Sting Softball Club Coaches:

(From Head Coach Steve Snedeker) I think one of the amazing aspects of Paige’s recovery back for her club fastpitch team was her attitude. Right from the beginning she was like “no problem”. I will be back soon. Being 13 years old, a six month recovery normally would seem like a very long time, but not to Paige. Paige made almost every practice and games and even traveled with us in the Fall 2018 to Arizona. She kept the scorebook for the team, played some catch with upper body throws and called pitches from the dugout. She was team manager and very much bonded with her team. I know she will be in the starting lineup coming this June, when are season starts. It was quite amazing that she could heal like this in these few months, as in previous years and experiences with other athletes it took a year or more. We were very impressed with her attitude and great work ethic.

(From Asst Coach Bob McGarry) I met Paige for the first time the weekend before softball tryouts. I had seen her play and knew what a great player she was but was struck that day by her maturity, intelligence and inquisitiveness. The meeting included 4 of her teammates and all of their parents. However, Paige had some of the best questions and it was clear she knew what she was looking for in a program. The morning of tryouts, I got a call from her father Jake letting me know that she had been injured the night before in basketball game and was uncertain if she would be able to fully participate in tryouts. He said they might be a little late as they were going to get it checked out at TCO Eagan as a precaution. Well, as we all know now, it was much more serious than had been previously hoped. However, we didn’t think twice about offering Paige a position on the team because of the positive attitude she displayed when she showed up on crutches very shortly after her diagnosis and her determination to get back on the field for the Summer 2019 season. Her positive attitude has been a constant throughout the Fall 2018 season and the Winter workouts. She has been at every event that didn’t conflict with a TCO doctor’s appointment and not once has she complained about her predicament or been anything but an exemplary teammate. During the early weeks there wasn’t much that she could do so she helped her teammates learn their defensive responsibilities and even called pitches during games, as she is a catcher. As she was cleared to more activities, she would catch infield for the coaches or sit on a bucket and load the tees for teammates to warm up hitting. There were times where we couldn’t work her into the plans, but she would show up and leave with the same smile on her face regardless.

It wasn’t until the latter part of our winter training where Paige was finally able to participate in some of the workout activities. Sometimes she could participate in a team drill but most times Paige had to work alone or just with a coach but she approached every scenario with the same determination to improve herself and beat this injury. In late April, I had the pleasure to see the beginning of the fruits of all of her hard work last week when she crushed a 3-run home run over the varsity field fence in a school ball game. As I watched her slowly jog around the bases, I could see her face light up and feel that all the pain and hard work she has been through is leading to her even larger comeback in softball and in her life. There is no doubt in my mind that Paige will come out of this a stronger player and person and I am so glad that she chose our team and allowed us to be her coach. I can’t wait to see her play softball this summer!

Comments from Paige’s Rosemount Varsity Basketball Coach, Chris Orr:

Paige is mature beyond her years. For any 8th grader, having to endure a serious injury can be very difficult. It was heart breaking to hear that Paige had torn her ACL. I had just met with her to talk about goals for the upcoming season (Basketball) and the next thing I heard from her is that she tore her ACL. As a coach, I ask all my players to create their own legacy and write their own story during their time in our High School program. For Paige, the story hasn’t started out as planned, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a powerful beginning to her story. Even though she was only an 8thgrader, Paige is one of the most competitive and hardworking girls we have in our program. These characteristics did not leave Paige this year, even though she was unable to participate on the court. Her competitiveness and work ethic showed in her rehab. She has been determined ever since it happened to get back on the court/field as soon as possible and stronger than ever.

Paige is also very committed. It would’ve been easy for Paige to step away from basketball this season as she knew there was no way possible that she was going to play. That’s not Paige though. She approached me asking if she could be one of our manager’s so she could use this season as a learning period and still help the team and our program out. As her rehab progressed, Paige not only continued her managerial duties, but she also began to participate on the court. By the end of the season she was able to join the team in some non-contact shooting and ball handling drills. She sent a powerful message to all of those in our program, Paige is committed, Paige is competitive, Paige is hard working and Paige will be back!

 

Jeff Benecke

jeff benecke walking on beach

Jeff’s TCO Champion: Dr. Paul Crowe

Jeff’s Comeback Story:

My comeback story starts with a flashback.

It’s 1978 and I’m a 20-year-old Navy enlisted man. I’m stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, far from my childhood home in North Minneapolis. As I watch the sun set over the ocean I think to myself, “Someday, I want to walk down a beautiful beach like this with Renee” (my girlfriend at the time).

Fast-forward 40 years. I can barely walk half a city block. My legs feel weak, then numb. I experience “foot drop,” with my right foot dragging due to nerve damage. One of my toes is completely numb and has been for years. Normal activities are a major struggle. Walking to a restaurant with friends means they have to frequently stop to wait for me to catch up, or unintentionally leave me trailing far behind. Mowing the lawn is a lengthy ordeal. And strolling along a beach – not trudging or stumbling in the sand – is not much of a possibility.

What happened to me?

In my early 20s, I was helping a friend do some home repairs. Pushing a wheelbarrow filled with heavy, wet concrete, I injured my back, herniating two discs. Prior to that injury, I was active and athletic. I had completed three marathons, two triathalons and numerous 5- and 10-k races. The back injury immediately curtailed my distance running. Over the next few years, my pain levels increased. I consulted with Dr. Paul Crowe of Twin Cities Orthopedics and we jointly decided surgery was my best option to relieve the pain. I was 29 years old.

After my initial surgery, the back pain eased, but that relief was short-lived. At age 31 I had a second surgery with Dr. Crowe. Over the next 20 years, I was rarely pain-free. As I aged, normal activities and daily chores become more and more difficult.

In my late 50s, the pain and lack of mobility became so severe that I went back to Dr. Crowe for another consultation. One non-surgical option was a steroid injection between the L3 and L4 discs. I opted for this minimally invasive approach, only to experience extreme pain during the injection. It was one of the most excruciating experiences of my life. Sadly, it didn’t improve my situation. Like many men, I went into denial and avoidance. I did not seek medical attention for eight months.

By the time I summoned the courage to go back to Dr. Crowe, my situation was dire. I was experiencing severe neuropathy, with ongoing leg numbness, persistent nerve tingling and significant problems walking. Dr. Crowe referred me to a neurologist who performed a number of tests and came to the diagnosis of “Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy.” I asked him about treatment options and was told, “You’ll have to learn to live with it.” I still clung to that dream of walking along a beautiful beach with Renee, now my wife of 35 years. I told the neurologist about my desire. He paused and said, “You can still do that; you’ll just have to walk very slowly and take plenty of rest stops.” In other words, trudge along a few yards at a snail’s pace, then find a place to sit until I regained feeling in my legs, then repeat. Not exactly the romantic beach walk with Renee I envisioned as a 20-year-old.

This was no way to live. Renee and I talked and I decided I needed to seek out other treatment options. We considered going to a world-renowned medical center in southern Minnesota. But before doing that, I felt I should consult again with Dr. Crowe. I have a 30-year relationship with him and that is something I would not get at any other health care system, no matter how good it is.

I made another appointment with Dr. Crowe. After a long talk, he told me the words I needed to hear. “You are too young to live this way,” he said. He said nerve decompression surgery might provide me the relief I yearned for. I put my trust in Dr. Crowe’s decades of expertise.

Dr. Crowe performed the surgery in December, 2018. I was on the operating table for more than six hours due to the very poor condition of my spine. The result has exceeded my expectations. The surgery gave me back my life. I owe a debt of gratitude to the entire Twin Cities Orthopedics team.

Today, I am walking proof of Dr. Crowe’s knowledge and talent. I am pain-free. I have regained all feeling in my legs (and yes, even in that long-numb toe). The neuropathy is gone and I am regaining my strength. Just three weeks after the surgery, I could spend an hour working out on an elliptical machine. I began to extend the distance I walked each day.

In addition to thanking Dr. Crowe, I want to give a shout-out to his team. Jenny, my Care Coordinator, has been outstanding in answering all of my questions, scheduling appointments and making sure I was never in the dark as I went through the surgery and recovery. I can’t say enough good things about Brianna, PA-C (PA stands for Physician Assistant C, meaning she is certified by the National Commission of Certification of PAs). Brianna was present during my surgery and followed up with me at the end of that long day. She even offered to play a hand of cribbage with me that night. She took special steps to ensure my pain was under control, then worked to set up the physical therapy I needed to move forward with my recovery.

In March of this year, my wife Renee and I travelled to the Florida panhandle, and I enjoyed a long, memorable pain-free walk with her as the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. Had you seen us strolling arm-in-arm along the shore, you wouldn’t have thought it was anything special, but for me it was an epic comeback for which I am deeply grateful.

 

Julie Tombaga

Julie Tombaga physical therapy

Julie’s TCO Champion: Dr. Thomas Comfort

Julie’s Comeback Story:

After 10 years of knee problems , I was happy and scared to hear Dr. Comfort say I needed a total knee replacement. Happy to know I would have a working knee again , and scared at the prospect of surgery and rehab. The EXCEL program was just what I needed. The encouraging calls from Molly and the team helped me with workouts ahead of surgery to better prepare me for recovery afterward. They took care of the onslot of paperwork from insurance and work. They scheduled the surgery and all my physical therapy appointments and post op checks.

March 5th at the Blaine Surgical Center Dr. Comfort and his Surgical team worked their magic on me. I was in the recovery room for 15 minutes and then got out of bed for a walk to the lav. The over night Suite at the Blaine Surgical center was comfortable and well equipped. The nursing staff and physical therapist took excellent care of me.

The next week at home I was blessed to have my husband taking good care of me. The first week is the worst, spinal block wears off and swelling sets in and having to get up and move every 2 hours day and night. But i got thru it with my marrage still intact!

The next week is where the work begins. Physical therapy twice a week with daily home exercises. Brian and Katie at the Vadnais Heights TCO are the best.! They have the right moves to get you back on track and pain will get you gain. Every week I am amazed at how much more I can do. I am just 5 weeks post surgery and have returned to my household routines and some of my social routines. Workouts at the YMCA are slow but sure and soon I’ll be returning to my pool workouts. I am lookig forward to a summer stand up paddle boarding on area lakes and riding my bike. By late summer I hope to be back at work as a flight attendant and enjoying life with my new knee!

Thank you Dr. Comfort and TCO team for giving me my freedom back!

 

James Plummer

James Plummer holding bmx bike

James’ TCO Champion: Rochelle Lindow, OTR/L, CHT

James’ Comeback Story: (shared by his mother, Kristin)

My son, James, broke several bones in his hand and arm when he crashed at high speed during a BMX race in February of 2018. (video available upon request) The doctors wanted to do surgery on him there, but I knew I would rather take him to Twin Cities Orthopedics back home. Immediately upon returning from Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was seen by Dr. Jason Dahl at TCO. Surgery was scheduled and Dr. Dahl meticulously repaired multiple fractures in James’ hand and arm. Following pin removal and physical therapy with your offices, James was back on his bike to win at his first national competition back from his injuries! James continued with a successful season and finished the year with a ranking of 7th in the Nation of 16 year old expert boys. He continues to ride and compete. The smile says it all. Thank you, TCO!

 

Maria Anundson

maria edit

Maria’s TCO Champion: Dr. Chris Coetzee

Maria’s Comeback Story:

TCO Comeback Story “I Fell in a Jungle in Thailand”

#noregrets

I won a trip for two to southeast Asia at my company’s holiday party. Finally experiencing Thailand, my bucket list destination for years. My childhood friend was my companion, planning most of the trip for us as I was just afloat, navigating an incredibly unpredictable stretch of challenges tapping my optimism reserves. Stressful.

Meeting Lori in Seattle for a free-spirited adventure; after a 30-minute monologue, skimming the surface of all drama and challenge at home, we agreed to be present on our adventure of a lifetime and leave home at home.

On our last day, after riding the scooter caboose in Vietnam, touring temples in Siem Reap, and wandering the flower markets in Bangkok, I left for a two-day hike compressed into one day with a monk tour guide and a tourist from London sporting six-pack abs. Long before seeing the first hike highlight, I was amazed. The beauty of all the greens, the sound of the waterfalls, and the simple and yet so complex insight from our guide blew me away. Eventually, we stopped for lunch. Our pad thai to-go, wrapped in banana leaves, was set upon a placemat cut from the banana tree where the fresh bananas fell and a watermelon, pulled from our guide’s backpack, was cut. Waterfalls were the backdrop. Unbelievable.

Leaving there, the hike continued to amaze – we stopped to smell fresh tamarind and wild ginger and then we rounded a curve, 3 hours in to an 8 hour hike, where the path meandered into a vine-covered jungle like I imagined in National Geographic.

Remembering Lori, who chose to stay back to meet a monk, while I was in the jungle on my own private tour, I felt compelled to video my path into this overgrown amazement. 11 seconds of video included my fall, which is the beginning of my continuing Comeback Story.

My guide scurried into the jungle, returning with a bamboo stick for a crutch, and then encouraged me to a river of ice cold water to soak my ankle for 30 minutes before returning to the trail.

Had I had fewer than three years of daily meditation under my belt, I wonder how I would have gotten out of the jungle. With each step, following the loud pop and searing heat and pain, I summoned my inner mojo to figure out how to quickly get off my right foot and back to my left. There was no even footing at all as we continued to climb to the village, which was the destination. We clearly weren’t calling in an airlift; oh wait, no cell service and no roads and no people.

We reached the village. Unbelievable and amazing. Completely worth it. I had hiked with a bamboo stick for 4 hours to get to transportation.

Here’s a quick-hit summary of how the rest of my story goes:

Put my foot on a tray table in the airplane from Chiang Mai to Taipei

Limped to eat dumplings in Taipei

Foot went back on an airplane tray table from Taipei to Seattle

Wheelchair to curb where my brother met me with crutches

Overnight in Seattle

Crutches to Minneapolis

My children pick me up in Minneapolis and bring me to ER on November 11.

ER says xray is inconclusive and I am given a gel cast (I declined “the boot” for fear of my back going out)

ER recommends if I am not better, see an orthopedic specialist

December 22 (yes gel brace and limping for 7 weeks), my amazing boss wonders how she can help me

“I want to go dog sledding but I want to know if I’ll mess up my ankle more”

“You can get an MRI as a walk-in”

Oh boy. Lucky for me, an ankle surgeon was in the TCO Urgent Care and ordered an MRI on Christmas Eve.

On December 26, Brad Moser asked, “Doesn’t it hurt?” “You need surgery and Dr. Coetzee has taken your case.”

January 9 I meet, and fall in love with, Dr. Coetzee. He watches my video of my fall in the jungle in Thailand, offers me an option, approves me getting a pedicure (7 weeks of Jungle in my toes), and instills confidence and kindness that still brings tears to my eyes.

January 11 surgery. Leave with an amazing cast!

11 days later, the cast comes off and I have an unbelievable nerve response.

Recovery. Is. Slow. And. It. Keeps. Snowing. And. It’s. Really. Cold. Schools. Keep. Closing.

Longest.Winter.Ever.

Eventually…

PT at Eden Prairie TCO – Meredith and Jake are amazing!

April 11, I was able to venture on a work trip to Dallas without my knee scooter or boot and even took a spin two-stepping.

April 27, I walked 5 miles (not all at once), and I am on my Comeback!

I spotted the advertisement for the Comeback deadline and had high hopes I would be doing something amazing by May 3 – almost 6 months after my fall – but it’s amazing that I find it amazing that I can stand on one leg and walk up and down the stairs.

It’s a journey.

Thank you TCO!