OCHS athlete on the road to recovery after serious injury

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – It was a cold October day for fall soccer at Ocean City High School. It was an intense game of rivals: Saint Augustine Prep High School against Ocean City High School.

The ball was down the defensive end of Ocean City. Georgie Meyers was a fullback going full force for the ball in the air and, at the same time, a player from Saint Augustine was coming at him with the same intensity. Meyers got to the ball first and, as he followed through, he was kicked by the Saint Augustine player thinking he was kicking the soccer ball. The contact was like an explosion. It was a loud crack followed by a hurtful scream of agony. The crowd was in awe and knew right away that something was broken.

Meyers had a complex tibia-fibula fracture. He was transported by ambulance to Cape Regional Medical Center, where x-rays showed the extent of damage. Immediately, Dr. Raymond Weiand, D.O., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at East Coast Orthopedics was called. Once Weiand evaluated Meyers, he knew he could fix the fracture but Meyers also displayed an odd symptom of numbness of his toes. Weiand immediately sent him to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), anticipating Georgie would need to be seen by a vascular specialist. At CHOP, Georgie underwent 10 surgeries.

On Dec. 4, 2012, Meyers started physical therapy at Cape Regional Physical Therapy. He had an external fixator and was on two crutches. After his 10th surgery, during which they replaced the fixator with a tibial rod, Meyers started to see some progress.

His nerves in his lower extremities were damaged and did not have much feeling, but he had an excruciating amount of pain. He was put in a walking boot and on crutches. He was very sensitive to touch, did not have much movement in his foot and was extremely weak in the entire lower extremity.

The team at Cape Regional PT cared for a skin graft while also working to improve the range of motion in his foot. A special foot brace was ordered in anticipation he would have ‘foot drop,’ which is when the nerve is damaged and the patient drags the foot.

“My heart would break for Georgie Meyers, whom I had seen play soccer with the vibrancy and energy that only a few of the best athletes contain,” said Virginia Millar, outpatient manager at Cape Regional Physical Therapy. “My dream of becoming a physical therapist was to help restore patients to their normal activity or as close as they can get. I knew it was part of my calling to work with Georgie to get him back to the level of play he experienced before this catastrophic injury.”

Meyers is a hard-working and motivated young man, according to Millar, who prepared this release. He came to therapy 2-3 hours, three days a week and on his days off he would stretch and attempt to get off his crutches. By the end of January, he was able to bear weight without his crutches. He was planning to return to school by the end of February, and set his goals high.

Meyers wanted to go back to school without crutches and without a boot; his determination and drive paid off. He was able to return to school not only without crutches and a boot, but he was able to wear a regular shoe and sock. His skin graft has now healed. It doesn’t look pretty, but he has many stories to tell about how heroic he was during the whole event.

“We never had to use the special foot brace because Georgie was able to recover from his foot drop,” Millar said. “He can now lift his toes on his own. Georgie is now working diligently in therapy to get back to running and jumping.”

His goal is to return to soccer, according to Millar. His orthopedic surgeon is amazed at his recovery. He, as well as others, did not expect Meyers to return again to the sport he loves. “His hard work and determination is making all the difference in his rehabilitation. We hope to see Georgie Meyers on the field again in the fall. We are so proud of his recovery at Cape Regional Physical Therapy; we had to share his story,” aid Millar

Cape Regional Physical Therapy is a full service physical therapy provider with three offices in Cape May Court House and Seaville. For more information, see www.CapeRegionalPT.com  or call 609-536-4995 to speak with Ginger Millar.

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