Torn ligaments, the silent killers: a true story

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A poster made by a really famous person, depicting the ligament as a silent killer.

William Himelhoch, Staff Writer

In the world of silent killers, there is one that rules all. This particular killer is found in a place hidden to the eye but used in ever day activities. We rely on this crucial part of the body to remain active and be able to do the things we love comfortably. I am here to bring awareness to this issue as one of my friends was deeply affected by it.

 

Torn ligaments, quite possibly the most destructive injury any human can obtain. A torn ligament in the knee can end up ruining someone’s entire career and I have witnessed this first hand with my friend, Alexander Kajda.

 

Alex woke up Friday morning thinking it would be a normal day of school, but it was far from normal. He never suspected that after this day he would find himself tossing and turning with a numbing pain constantly riding up his knee. See, Alex had a field trip to Busch Gardens and it was all he could think about that day. Before he knew it, he was stepping off his assigned bus and greeted with a mass of colors and lights as the sunset fell behind him. As Alex stepped into the theme park, he was filled with excitement but also nervousness as he is not too fond of rollercoasters. To his left he could see the thin outline of SheiKra, Busch Gardens’ most well-known attraction that features an extremely steep drop. This would be the ride that would change his life forever.

 

With his senses at an all time high it was finally time to board the ride and Alex was ready. He told himself he could do this and hyped himself up for the adventure. He stepped onto the platform and in that moment his knee awkwardly twisted and the ligament tore just like a rubber band stretched too far. Immediately a sharp pain went rushing up his knee along with a scream and he was forced to the ground. Striking an almost superhero-landing-esque pose, he summoned all his strength to hobble off to the side. Not long after, the pain began rushing to his head and his vision became blurry. Unfortunately, no trained doctors were on site and Alex had to deal with the matter himself. For hours he struggled on the bus-ride home clutching his knee and praying to get home. When he got home, he immediately rushed to the shower and got into bed explaining to his mom the horrific incident that occurred.

 

The next day came along and his knee was still hurting but was near bearable. Alex had to get ready and get his first dose of his Covid vaccine. Speaking of which this is a great time to say that everyone should get vaccinated so we can get rid of masks and all be safe! But back to the real story. Alex drudged along and after his shot popped open a crisp Coke, the only thing that could bring him relief in that moment.  He was on to the doctors office where his doctor informed him of the torn ligament. After hearing this Alex got very lightheaded as he realized that his sports career would never be the same. Could he still catch footballs one handed like Odell Beckham Junior? Could he still accurately place a soccer ball into the top corner? Would he be able to drain shots in basketball like he usually does? The rest of that day he spent worrying but he really should’ve been worrying about the night. Alex barely got a wink of sleep as his knee and his shoulder were in such excruciating pain that he considered putting a bag of frozen peas on his knee. Yes, it was that bad.

 

To this day, I still see him in the hallways struggling to get around doing an awkward penguin-like waddle. Even though the injury occurred last week, he just doesn’t look the same. His fiery spirit has been lost to a torn ligament just like millions of people worldwide. The injury has no cure but he has to go to physical therapy for six weeks so his knee will heal and everything will go back to normal. It’s just so upsetting to see a young career stopped so early. Even his rapping career has come to a stop and Alex just can’t seem to think of fire bars anymore. I wrote this article to recognize the story of a young man affected by a tragic event, but I’m also writing this to bring awareness to torn ligaments, the true silent killers in this world.