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Jason Unanue

Old Tappan, NJ

In early July 2018, you would find me in an automotive shop working nine to five, and on the weekends you would find me pursuing my passion of riding/racing motocross. I was a healthy and relatively happy 21-year-old that had a great weekly routine going, focusing on balancing my life between work/school, spending time with friends and family, working on my trucks, and working/riding my bikes. Looking back I completely took this, what at the time seemed like, a permanent and ongoing routine for granted. I was well on my way to receiving a professional motocross license, which required weekend trips to places such as North Carolina, Michigan, Tennessee, etc. These weekends I even took for granted; they were easily the best times I’ve ever had. On July 21st, 2018, this routine I had going completely came to an end. I had a very unfortunate accident practicing at Raceway Park, in Englishtown, New Jersey.

This accident consisted of multiple injuries, which included a shattered calcaneus (heel), talus, and navicular bone in my left foot. In addition to these injuries I also dislocated my left ankle, fractured my left fibula, dislocated my left elbow, and separated my AC joint in my left shoulder. This injury put myself at an all time low. The first surgeon my parents brought me to simply couldn’t find words to say when he saw my x-rays. He straight up told me I would never be able to run again or ride again, and that it was not repairable without fusing the bones together, which would have left me with no left to right movement in my foot. The second surgeon had a similar reaction, and might I mention neither were the slightest bit optimistic or positive. When I saw Dr. David Levine at HSS he had a positive attitude, and was nothing shy of optimistic and confident. At the time, that little bit of hope, confidence and optimism was all I needed.

Again, I was at an all time low during this experience. I was borderline depressed and not a happy person. Although Dr. Levine was confident and very pleased with how the surgery went, at the time I was still a wreck. I remember about two visits after the surgery Dr. Levine told me that now that the surgery was over with, his only goal was to get me to smile. Fast-forward to January of 2019, he finally saw me smiling during my checkup. I was so happy to tell him that every week I continue to progress and get more range of motion in my foot. I have been able to ride a bicycle, go about doing my normal everyday activities and more. I even was able to ride my motocross bike again. I could not be happier with the outcome of the surgery performed at HSS. I cannot thank Dr. Levine, Steve at Madison Spine and Physical Therapy of Old Tappan, my parents, friends, family, and girlfriend enough for helping me during this rough time.