I first injured myself playing basketball when I had just turned eleven years old. I was side shuffling to block a shot when my right knee locked and I fell down, dislocating my patella. I did not know what happened and when I was told I would be out of sports for some time, I was devastated. Physical therapy and leg exercises helped to strengthen my leg, and I was back to playing sports in three months. It was my first practice back at soccer, when I was dribbling the ball and attempted to cut across another player. I fell again only to see my knee had dislocated a second time.
My parents and I visited a couple of doctors before coming to the Hospital for Special Surgery. That is when I met Dr. Shubin Stein. She told me that I required medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction; I was nervous being that I was only eleven years old. On the day of my surgery, February 20, 2015, I was worried and scared. Dr. Shubin Stein was great at calming me down and reassuring me that the surgery would be successful. I then was brought to the operating room to begin the surgery. I will always remember her autographing my leg! The first couple of weeks post surgery was difficult. I visited Dr. Shubin Stein every couple of months and each time I was stronger than the last. Her awesome ability to make me feel comfortable and optimistic was a positive.
Now I am almost thirteen, and am back on the soccer field doing what I love. I always knew not to give up, even if some times were more challenging than others. HSS and Dr. Shubin Stein taught me that life can be hard, but you have to get right back up when you fall down. The journey through surgery and physical therapy was long and testing, but in the end all of the hard work paid off. I cannot express enough gratitude to Dr. Shubin Stein and all of the employees at HSS. All of you helped me overcome one of the hardest obstacles in my life I have ever faced. Now I know to never give up, and to get right “Back in the Game”!