Marlins of Mercy: Gabby Price


Senior Gabby Price has had numerous injuries that have put a strain on school, sports, and life in general, but she has learned that keeping a positive mindset during all of her struggles has been the most useful tool in recovering. Photo by Lydia Giroux

“In January of 2016, I broke my foot playing basketball and a few months later, I tore my ACL playing soccer. After having surgery, I tore my ACL again the next year during [physical therapy]—something all my doctors told me was really rare to ever happen. They knew something was wrong, so I received a double leg surgery where they took pieces of one leg and transferred them to the other. A few months after this surgery, I tore something doing a cartwheel. I started recovering from this and was in and out of a wheelchair when my knee kept going in and out of place. 

My doctors couldn’t figure out what was actually wrong with me for a long time. They finally told me my MCL was torn; I have been living with this for about 8 months now. Then they put me in a cast for two months and it was supposed to be all healed. In August after I finished physical therapy, my knee gave out once again, which wasn’t supposed to happen. It would start giving out when I just walked or basically did anything with it. At one point in December of that year, it gave out and was out of place for four hours. I couldn’t move. I had to shift it back into place myself and then went back to physical therapy. 

[My doctor] said only five people have ever [torn for a second time] the graft he makes and he’s been doing surgery for 30 or 40 years. He said I was a really rare case and he suggested just having the surgery again, even though there was a good chance I would just keep tearing it again and again. So my family and I decided to go to a hospital in Chicago for a second opinion. I was told they were going to cut my tibia and try to fix my alignment because I’m extremely bow-legged, and I have a hyperextension percent of 40 when the normal person has 10 to 12. I won’t be able to walk for three months on it, and then six months later I should get my new ACL. We hope this will be my last surgery, and I’m supposed to be getting it in April. 

I can’t walk very long distances because there’s an extreme worry that something will happen and when it does give out, the pain will last about three days. My parents are definitely worried about me walking around a college campus next year and because I’m getting surgery so close to starting college, we don’t know how much of an impact that walking 30 minutes to a class could be. 

In all honesty, I didn’t keep a positive mindset at all for three years until I got to a point where I realized it’s who I am, [and] there’s nothing I can do about it. People would make jokes about it and they wouldn’t know that it actually hurt. I reached a place where I understood that didn’t matter anymore. I just needed to be doing this for me, not anyone else. I just wanted to be able to walk [and] just to be able to run again. I would go home and train, [and] I would push myself because I didn’t want to be that person anymore. I didn’t want to be this sad person everyone either felt bad for or didn’t believe all the time. I just wanted to be happy and I’m glad I’ve finally gotten to that place.”