On the eve of the four year anniversary of having my ACL and meniscus repaired, I finally decided to put together some words to express my gratitude for Dr. Answorth Allen and Jennifer Heberton.
In December 2019, I tore my ACL and meniscus on a beach in Mexico. I had an appointment with another surgeon to confirm the injury and schedule surgery for February 4, 2020. On February 3rd, as I was mentally preparing for the operation, I received a call that my surgeon was ill and that he would be unable to get me in for surgery until at least the beginning of March. As a teacher, it would have been challenging for me to get the days required for recovery. It was essential that I had the procedure prior to Midwinter Recess so that I would have enough days to recover without losing pay.
The day after I had heard that the surgery would have to be postponed, I looked to the HSS directory to see if there was another option. Dr. Allen was the first name on the list and the office set me up for an appointment that afternoon. I went into the appointment anxious, nervous, and unsure about when I would be able to have the procedure. Dr. Allen heard my desire to have the surgery prior to that school break and went out of his way to see if I could be scheduled in for the following morning while expressing his gratitude for my profession as a teacher.
I was floored - I couldn’t believe that he made surgery happen for me. Had he not fit me in the next day, with the coronavirus outbreak ramping up later that month, I don’t know when I would have been able to have that surgery.
I was set up for PT with Jen Heberton, and I am so grateful that she was the therapist I was assigned. She was absolutely amazing throughout my recovery. When I returned to work in my school, I would go straight to PT afterwards. My leg was so swollen from the day and I regularly felt so defeated and hopeless. She was so effective in calming me down, encouraging me, and letting me know that everything was going to be fine. Shortly after we started our sessions, we had to move to teletherapy. Jen was patient, available, and invested in my recovery. She was so supportive of me - through the lows and highs. When I was able to return to in-person therapy, she continued to guide me on my journey back. There isn’t anybody that I believe would have been able to help me better than Jen did. She was so, so, so, so incredible throughout the whole process.
Four years post-surgery, I have run three marathons, many more half marathons, and continue to live a healthy, athletic lifestyle. The care and guidance from Dr. Allen and Jen were so much more than I had anticipated. HSS is the best orthopedic hospital in the world because of people like Dr. Allen and Jen. Thank you, thank you, thank you!