September Comeback Athlete Jasmine Feraro
It’s hard to come back from an injury once, let alone three times. But that’s just what Jasmine Feraro did—and basketball was her motivation. She persevered to get back on the court and her determination earned her the September Comeback Athlete title.
October Comeback Athlete Clay Evans
Standing over 6-feet tall, Clay Evans was built to play football. After a serious accident left Clay with only partial use of his right arm, it took him two years to return to the field. With the help of his family, friends and love of football, Clay is now starting on the varsity football team as a freshman.
November Comeback Athlete Holland Carlton
After a concussion landed Holland at the doctor’s office, a CT scan revealed the last thing she and her family expected—a brain tumor. In March 2015, Holland underwent a nine-hour surgery to remove the growth. After the procedure, she had to relearn routine daily activities at the Children’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Program. She is now back on the field playing soccer and already earned a starting position in just a few short weeks.
December Comeback Athlete Evan Butler
Evan’s scoliosis correction surgery revealed a mass near his spinal cord that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Evan's family was told he might never walk again, and they began preparing for Evan to live his life in a wheelchair. With extensive rehab in the Children's Inpatient Rehabilitation Program, however, Evan was determined to reteach every muscle in his legs how to work again.
January Comeback Athlete Matthew Leahy
Matthew’s lingering hip pain after a soccer game was eventually diagnosed as Perthes disease. Facing the unknown of this rare disease, the Leahy family was relieved to meet Dr. Schrader, a renowned expert in Perthes who practiced in their hometown. A daunting two-year treatment plan would intimidate most, but 9-year-old Matthew took everything in stride, even describing his cast, braces, wheelchair and therapy as “fun.” His eternally positive attitude brought him back to doing what he loves most: playing sports.
February Comeback Athlete Mallory Landon
When she was in the 8th grade, Mallory thought apophysitis was the toughest thing she’d have to go through. Unfortunately, she suffered a left ACL and medial meniscus tear just months after recovering from her hip injury. Mallory persevered through nine months of rehab to return to soccer, when she suffered the same injury to her right knee just three months later. Prepared for the physical therapy and knowing what she had to do to get healthy, Mallory returned to soccer even quicker the second time around. She’s now a high school junior and is currently completing her second full season with the Pope Greyhounds.
March Comeback Athlete Emily Etherton
Emily’s dream of competing in collegiate gymnastics was derailed after she sustained a back injury on the uneven bars in 2013. When years of treatments, including physical therapy and spinal epidurals, couldn’t relieve her pain, Emily had a three-level discectomy to repair her herniated discs. She is now back to competing with her state-champion high school team and is finally pain-free.
April Comeback Athlete Drew Whitmoyer
Drew was no stranger to injury, having overcome a rotator cuff injury from years of swimming in early 2015. However, he never expected to wake up from a nap with his left arm swollen to more than twice its normal size in October of the same year. Following an emergency room visit and several procedures, Drew was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. After discovering a 7-inch blood clot in his left shoulder, he had to have his first rib removed and his subclavian vein replaced in a 10.5-hour surgery to resolve the problem. Recovery was no easy road. Unable to move his arm for a month following surgery, Drew didn’t know if he’d ever want to swim again. He’s been going to physical therapy since late November 2015 with Skippy Mattson, head of the Children’s Swimming Program. Drew is now back in the pool and looking forward to competing again.