May 30, 2011
By , Sandy, UT
I am here to tell you about the dreadful day that changed my life forever. My name is Jess, I am 20 years old, and I have one fat “kankle” because of the events that took place on July 3, 2008.

The day started out just like any other day, except for the fact that I was in St. George, four hours away from my home and family. Normally this wouldn’t have been an issue, but it’s not everyday that you wind up in a hospital recovering from an emergency surgery. I was in St. George attending a soccer camp at Dixie College. It was the summer before my sophomore year of high school, which is the most important year when it comes to getting a scholarship for college soccer. I came to the camp with a slightly torn meniscus, so my coaches were hesitant to put me in. My assistant coach went out on a limb and took a risk that would cost me half of my crucial sophomore season. We were playing Alta High School and we were about 15 minutes into the game. Just as I was getting comfortable on the sideline, I heard my name called and looked up surprised. Sure enough, my coach was looking at me and signaling for me to go and warm up. I took a short jog and did a few stretches before I made my way to the half line to sub in. I had been in the game for about 5 minutes when I was part of the play that would bring my week at Dixie soccer camp to an end. I remember it like it was yesterday, I had the ball at my feet and my back to the goal, so I didn’t see Alta’s keeper coming out of her box. I planted my left leg and began to turn to get my shot off. That was when I heard it, a loud crack that still brings shivers down my back when I think about it.

After the snap of my ankle everything went hazy. I remember looking down at my foot and seeing my ankle bone sticking out one direction and my foot facing the other way. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs for help and lying there in agony, waiting for the ambulance to come. I was rushed to the hospital where I remember getting X-rayed. I remember being nervous, I had never been to this hospital before, I had no idea what surgery the doctor wanted to do, and I had no idea who the surgeon even was. The nurse told me to count to 10. I started to count; 1, 2, 3, and then it was lights out. I woke up to the comforting feeling of my mom tickling my arm. My parents had gotten the phone call and made the 4 hour drive in record time. The surgeon came in to explain what he had done. He told us I had broken my tibia and fibula. He said he should have put in 2 screws and a plate but had taken a risk and just done one screw. The one screw would help me to gain back movement in my ankle twice as fast, rather than using the extra screw and plate. I was not too happy about his risk taking at first, but it definitely payed off.

It was a long road to recovery. I was on crutches for the first month, and then in a walking boot for the next month. I missed the first 2 months of my high school season. For the next year following the incident I was hesitant to go in for any tackles. It was so frustrating for me knowing how much slower I was. Before my surgery I could always rely on my speed to get around defenders but until I was completely recovered I had to adjust to being slow and not having that ability. It took a lot of faith and I had to rely on the Lord, and trust that He would help me make up for time I lost. My prayers were answered and I was able to get a scholarship to play soccer at Brigham Young University. Although I will always have the scar, the pain is gone and my ankle does not slow me down anymore. I will forever remember the frustration and heartache I went through during that recovery time. It is a constant reminder that the Lord is always there willing to help you get through difficult times. Even though this experience was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to go through, I wouldn’t change it if I had the chance. We all have trials in our lives, and it’s these trials that make us stronger and prepare us for the tough times ahead.

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