Marlins of Mercy: Kayla Shields


Junior Kayla Shields spent her first weeks of 2019 at Cleveland Clinic after being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She joined a program there with hopes to cope with her pain that will never fully go away. Photo used with permission from Kayla Shields

“On March 8, 2018 is when someone fell on top of my left foot at practice. It started off as a sprained ankle, but I still played on it. I went to a bunch of doctors, but no one could figure out what it was. Finally, some doctors told me I had CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in my left foot. They didn’t know what to do about it because it’s not exactly treatable. I went to a bunch of physical therapists and I had to do nerve blocks, where doctors would give me shots in my spine. It only temporarily took away the pain. That’s when I was recommended to go to Cleveland Clinic.

On January 7, 2019 I came [to Cleveland Clinic]. I did two weeks as an inpatient and one as an outpatient. There is a specific pain program at the clinic to help people with my same condition. I made so many friends that I’m going to stay close with after the program ends for me. It is nice to be able to relate to the other girls and we do all the activities together. A typical day in the program starts with breakfast. Then, I get in the pool and do aqua therapy. I will [also] have a few hours of school so I don’t fall behind in my classes. Most people with this condition don’t go to school because the pain is so bad, but I’m trying to keep up so I can come back to Mercy prepared. After classes, I have physical therapy and recreational therapy. I also do psychology, so I can talk about coping with it all. The pain is never fully going to go away. They are just trying to teach me how to function with it. I’m in really good hands here.

I haven’t been able to play volleyball since November when MVV lost to Lake Orion in Regionals. On Jan. 28, I come back to school. Automatically, I’m going to be behind in school from being away for so long, but Mercy is accommodating me and all I’m dealing with.”