Jillian Falduto is an 18 year old competitive gymnast from New Jersey, who has had big dreams her whole life. At a competition in February of 2013, a misstep on her balance beam dismount left her with a dislocated and shattered ankle and everything she had worked for in jeopardy.
"I went to the Emergency room, and then the local orthopedists, and they all told me the same thing. Everyone said that this was the end of my gymnastics career, that the injury was too severe and I would be lucky to walk normally again."
Unwilling to accept that diagnosis, Jillian's parents took her to Hospital for Special Surgery. There she met with a renowned foot and ankle specialist.
"I knew immediately upon entering the hospital, that if anyone was going to be able to fix my ankle, it would be him. He told me at my first appointment that he would do every thing he could to get me back to the sport I love."
He performed a 4 hour surgery to repair Jillian's shattered talus. Using titanium screws, he and his team reconstructed Jillian's ankle. However, the battle didn't end there. For the next year, in conjunction with extensive physical therapy, Jillian had dozens of appointments at HSS for various injections and treatments to strengthen her weakened cartilage and ensure the continued healing of her ankle.
"Words can't describe what he and his team did for me. Thanks to them, my ankle is strong and healthy again. I couldn't be more grateful for everything they have done."
Now, just shy of two years later, Jillian is competing at 100% and will be continuing her gymnastics career as an NCAA athlete in the fall.