BV student undergoes 6 surgeries, 7 knee displacements

In a seemingly never-ending cycle, a circuit of injuries prevents senior Lauren Schaffer from accomplishing her goals and dreams of the future.

fer said the realization of the truth for her set inThe majority of athletes have struggled with an iscreen-shot-2016-10-25-at-12-44-39-pmnjury of some sort, but Schaffer seems to have a tough time recovering. After a total of six surgeries and seven dislocations, starting at the age of 11, Schaf

“Growing up, I used to be the athletic girl, who was always on the course, always on the field or always outside,” she said. “I don’t play sports anymore because it’s definitely not worth the risk [of reinjury].”

Her injuries result from shallow knee grooves — where the knee sits in place — making it m
ore prone to dislocation. In full health, Schaffer said running and athletics were a big part of her life.
Seeing the best of the situation, Schaffer said she realized the overwhelming number of injuries hasn’t knocked her down.

“It’s made me stronger physically because every time I have to go into rehab, the first session after every injury [or] surgery, I have the same goal for myself — to get myself stronger than where I was before,” Schaffer said. “I know that after I finish every round of physical therapy that I’m stronger than I was before.”

As her shallow kneecaps prevent her from playing golf, and any physical activity, Schaffer chooses to remain positive, although it deems to be extremely irritating.

“Emotionally, it’s really frustrating,” she said. “I’ve been going through the same cycle since sixth grade. I’d get myself back up on my feet after having an injury, and I’d just have another one. I have a better sense of how hard work pays off.”

Becoming a yearly ordeal, injury after injury, Sch
affer said her future slowly started to shift. Though she aspired to be a college athlete, her dreams kept getting pushed back.

“I saw myself playing sports through high school and possibly in college, b
ut now I really have to focus on my academics,” she said. “I know I am not going to be a college athlete or an athlete as a profession.”

After two college visits, one to Creighton University and one to Pittsburg State University, Schaffer said she is leaning toward a career in nursing, as her bad experience with her knees has enlightened her likings to medicine — appreciating what these schools have to offer. Although she said her future is looking as bright as ever, a fear of restarting the recovery phase and redislocation will continue to linger. Taking the recovery at a slow pace will be key in the next few months.

“There is always a fear of it happening again,” she said. “I’m afraid, and I don’t think I will never not be afraid. I want to be confident enough to go play a quick game of basketball with friends, or kick a
round a soccer ball.”

She said staying positive and strong has gotten her through her ups and downs, and she said she hopes to recover with great strength.

“You just have to keep going, no matter what,” Schaffer said. “You’re going to get through
whatever you’re going through. You have to want to get through it. I know that I can get through it and anything that I am faced with.”screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-12-44-57-pm