Pharmacy Residency (PGY1)

Just keep going: An athlete’s perseverance pays off


‘Parkland helped me during this tough time’

For the past six months, 17-year-old Eddrick Jordan has spent countless hours in Parkland Health’s physical therapy room, getting stronger each week so he could get back to the sport he loves.

Jordan’s love for sports dates to his early childhood when he played alongside his younger brother. But it was always football that attracted him. His mother, April Martin, remembers how at a young age Jordan showed commitment to the game. “I could never get him off the football field,” she said, grinning at her phone as she swiped through pictures of young Jordan sporting his massive football gear.

This sentiment reflected his deep connection to the sport. “Playing football is my passion and it allows me to get out of my comfort zone,” Jordan said.

But what took years of practice to perfect, felt threatened in an instant. During a pre-season scrimmage, he felt a sudden sharp pain shooting up his left leg. As soon as he took a quick left turn, he felt a popping sensation. All he could feel was immense pain as he tried to support himself standing.

“He experienced a twisting injury during the game, and he actually tore his ACL and injured his meniscus,” said Nathan Boes, MD, Parkland’s Sports Medicine Director.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament in the middle of the knee that provides stability to the joint. The meniscus is a pad of cartilage in the knee that acts as a cushion during movement. Both the ACL and meniscus pad work together to protect the cartilage in the knee. To reduce the risk of further injury and cartilage wear, Jordan underwent surgery to give back the knee’s stability.

“The ACL does not have a great ability to heal itself,” Dr. Boes said. “So, we had to reconstruct the knee by taking a ligament from somewhere else to replace his ACL.”

Athletes who suffer an ACL injury often face a lengthy recovery process. In fact, it can take anywhere from 7-9 months of rehabilitation to fully recover. But for Jordan, the temporary setback served as motivation to heal and return to the sport even stronger.

“I felt hurt because I had never been injured before and football means everything to me,” he said. “But Parkland helped me during this tough time.”

Parkland’s Sports Medicine Clinic is comprised of healthcare providers involved in all aspects of a patient’s care. The clinic offers various treatment and rehabilitation options for sport-related injuries, or any injury related to physical activity. Dr. Boes and his team strive to provide the best possible care to injured athletes or weekend warriors during what can be a challenging time in their lives.

“Our responsibility is to help our patients get back on track and get back to playing the game they love as quickly as possible,” Dr. Boes said. “It’s a privilege for me to be able to walk along with them in their journey.”

With his senior year approaching, Jordan is excited for his near future. His mind is set on playing college football soon, so a full recovery is crucial to that goal.

“My family, my coaches and my teammates depended on me to get better, so I knew I needed to just keep going,” Jordan said. In addition to a supportive care team, his mother’s unconditional love helped him persevere through the obstacles he faced.

“I’m most thankful for my mother because she kept pushing me through everything, even when I did not want to keep going,” he said as he glanced at his mother with a smile, acknowledging the pivotal role she played in his recovery.

Despite this temporary setback, Jordan remains motivated to complete his physical therapy program soon and pursue his passion.

“If you love a sport, then just keep going and don’t stop,” he said.

For more information about Parkland’s Sports Medicine Clinic, visit www.parklandhealth.org/your-team.

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