Kaitlyn’s story: Reaching big dreams after overcoming a severe childhood leg injury

Kaitlyn’s story: Overcoming a severe childhood leg injury

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From ages 6 to 13, I participated in a summer league swim team. I swam for my High School and my relay team won the state championship in 2019. IIn Fall 2022, I’ll be a Division 1 athlete for the University of New Mexico swim team. This is a dream come true.”

Nine years ago, Kaitlyn wasn’t sure if she’d be able to swim again. When she was 8, she sustained a leg injury on Nov. 2, 2012.  “I was sitting inside a teacup, where you spin in circles,” Kaitlyn said. “The loop of my shoelace got caught on an exposed bolt and as the teacup spun, my leg wrapped around it. When I looked down, I saw my bone sticking out of my leg. My foot was almost ripped off.”

Kaitlyn was rushed Texas Children’s Hospital ER, where she and her parents met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Rosenfeld to evaluate the extent of her leg injury. Kaitlyn had an open tibia and fibula fracture. Kaitlyn would need immediate surgery to repair the fracture.

“Before surgery, Dr. Rosenfeld asked if I had any questions, and that’s when I asked him, “Will I be able to swim again? He said “yes,” with confidence, he said he would do everything he could to make sure I was able to return to the pool again.”

“It’s amazing how far I’ve come since my leg injury,” Kaitlyn said. “Besides the support from my parents, family and friends, I credit my full recovery to the wonderful doctors, nurses, physical therapists at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rosenfeld has been one of my biggest motivators. He kept telling me everything would be OK and he was right.”  

Kaitlyn continues to keep in touch with Dr. Rosenfeld and provide regular updates on her successes and accomplishments in the swim world, including her plans to compete as a D1 college athlete next fall.


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