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Sophia Cerky

Point Lookout, NY

On November 12, 2018, I re-fractured my elbow and tore my UCL. In March of 2019, I was cleared to go back to gymnastics, and my elbow was still in the back of my mind. There was still pain, but I chose to ignore it until I finished the season in May. I got a second opinion where the doctor ordered an MRI with contrast. When I got the results back he told me that I had a slight dislocation with Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Because the surgery was too complex he wasn’t able to do the surgery. We contacted 4 HSS surgeons who also said the same thing. Finally, after 3 months of trying to figure out what was wrong with me, a doctor said he would see me for a consult. I felt relief in that instantaneous moment, and all I needed surgery on was the untreated ligament. This journey for me has been a tough one but I made it. On July 17, 2019, I got Tommy John surgery to fix my ongoing elbow problems. When February came, the day was finally here - my two years of finding what to do with myself. Before the surgery, I was struggling with not only my elbow, but with who I was. Should I quit this sport and end my struggle once and for all? If it wasn’t for my incredible doctor, coaches, family, and friends I don’t think I would be posting this video right now. As I write this, my smile is wide, and my heart is warm. I am happy to announce after 9 long months, I’m back at the sport I forgot I had loved. I would like to say thank you and am forever grateful to have been cared under the #1 hospital in the US for orthopedics and for Dr. David Altchek (Medical Director for the New York Mets and a medical consultant for the NBA) and his HSS team for a great surgical experience. I want to thank my coaches for inspiring me to not give up and sticking with me. I want to thank my friends and family for having my back whenever I needed them. This experience has molded me to be who I am today. My persistence and tenacious grip to hope led me to believe in myself more than ever. Everything truly happens for a reason, and even though the tunnel may seem dark, there is always light at the end of it.