Abbey Bryant, graduate of Saugus High School, has been a track athlete and hurdler for the past seven years.
During her freshman year, Bryant had surgery to remove a knee plica – a band of cartilage - that was causing excessive pain, swelling and inflammation. Over the course of the next two years, additional injuries occurred on the same joint, including a major patella tendon strain. While Bryant recovered from each knee injury, symptoms reoccurred and pain returned during her senior year.
“My motto is to never give up,” said Bryant. “I wanted to do everything I could to rebuild strength so that all of my muscles could work together and offer more support while running. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and that I would have to be 100% committed to rehabilitation for most of my senior year.”
Bryant found a program that combined both athletic training from her school along with physical therapy. With the help of Molly Herrera, Athletic Trainer at Saugus High School and Thomas “TJ” DiPrima, DPT, Athletic Training Outreach Coordinator at Henry Mayo Outpatient Physical Therapy, Bryant participated in physical therapy twice per week and athletic training after each track practice for several months.
“Abbey is one of the hardest working and determined student-athletes that I have had the pleasure of helping to rehabilitate and train,” said DiPrima. “She is very focused and goal–oriented. We were able to create a plan that could help keep her on pace to participate in her track season and remain competitive at a high level.”
“I love having that relationship with Henry Mayo Physical Therapy,” said Herrera. “I am thankful to have them be a part of my sports medicine team at Saugus High School.”
Following rehabilitation, Bryant has broken both school and Foothill League records in the 100 meter hurdles and continued to excel in the 300 meter hurdles. She is now a freshman at Utah State University, competing at the Division1 college level. Bryant continues to practice the strength training exercises that she learned during physical therapy and athletic training.
“I feel so fortunate to have worked with both Molly and TJ,” said Bryant. “They both kept me in good spirits and were great sources of motivation. Even when I wasn’t sure if I could do something, they were there to support me and tell me I could do it - all with a smile and words of encouragement!”