In the winter of 2012 I suffered a fracture in the navicular bone of my left foot. Coming from an active lifestyle characterized by explosive and aggressive movements, I have experienced many broken bones. This stress fracture was approximately the fourth and worst one I ever sustained. The navicular bone often does not receive an adequate blood supply to heal on its own, which is problematic because it articulates with the talus and cuneiform (other important foot structures). This navicular nonunion threatened the continuation of my career as a collegiate rower, and my hope dwindled with each subsequent visit to doctors who proposed plans that did not seem certain of success - that is until I met my surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.
He is without question the most illustrious medical figure I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing. Multilingual, coming from a rich history of athletic endeavors and successes, the holder of countless prestigious accolades, and most importantly of all exhibiting a genuine personality and a flawless ability to clearly communicate, it was clear from minute one that he was the paramount candidate for this surgery. In classic fashion he proposed a multilayered plan of action that would attack the problem from both the mechanical and biological ends, including a titanium screw implant, bone marrow transplant, and stem cell transplant aimed at pulling the separated bone together and regenerating damaged tissue.
The surgery was vastly successful. Less than a year later was back to competing in numerous collegiate regattas, and eventually I completed a twelve-hour individual indoor row charity event using the indoor rowing machine. My foot held up through it all. I placed all of my faith in my surgeon during the surgery, throughout my continued rowing career, and to this day and beyond. Thank you to the HSS team for your professionalism, courtesy, patience, and compassion. You gave me a gift of a magnitude that can never be matched, and I thank you for that with every stroke I take.