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Story Submitted by Josh Damigo
Dodgeballs were flying everywhere and adrenaline was racing through my body, when suddenly, I feel a “pop” in my knee. I knew something was wrong but I proceeded to play and caught the winning ball, taking the bronze medal in the tournament. A victory for Ventura High School and a future doctor visit for me.
This was not my first knee injury but it was my most severe, as I not only tore my ACL, but I also had a meniscus root tear. This made everything from standing to sleeping difficult because of the pain and constant soreness.
Before this injury occurred, I was running an average of 20 miles a week and working out every day to shed my “winter coat”. I am very active and love living in Ventura because everything is within walking distance — unless you are on crutches… then it takes a lot longer.
As the countdown for my surgery began, I worked hard to get my knee as strong as possible. I knew that after the surgery, I would not be allowed to put any pressure on my knee for six weeks. I was warned that an action as small as letting my foot touch the ground could ruin the work that was done and it would be irreversible. Dr. Suzuki was my surgeon and is a very serious, detail-oriented guy, so I walked out of every visit completely confident that he would do a great job. He absolutely did.
After the six weeks, I started physical therapy again and enjoyed working with all the physical therapists at the Ventura location. I worked mainly with Steve Edwards in the Physical Therapy department. He was always positive and pushed me when I needed to work harder and pulled me back when I was being too ambitious. I felt more like I was working out with a friend than with a physical therapist. (even if he made me do “spider-man” pushups).
When I started to feel stronger, I joined a soccer league and have steadily lost over 35 pounds. Two and a half years later, I am now training for a half-marathon and ran 9 miles just this past weekend! Additionally, I am playing third base for a softball team and we are currently fighting for third place (we could use a few subs, if anyone is interested). While I am not at the same speed that I was before the accident, I can finally see a pathway to getting there.