Posted on March 02 2018
It’s several years since Gary Moore broke his left femur playing a pickup football game. It happened in April 2012 while Moore was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for his school’s honors program spring retreat.
Moore said he was on the beach when the unexpected happened. “I caught the ball and began to run toward the end zone. As I ran down the beach, I performed a juke move so I wouldn’t get tackled. As I sidestepped, I noticed my left leg didn’t come up off the sand. That’s when I heard a crack. It sounded like a bag of chips opening. That’s when I knew my leg was broken.”
Moore fell to the ground and began to yell while in excruciating pain. At first, none of the other players believed him and thought he was joking. After quickly realizing the agony he was in, a crowd of his peers and several people vacationing on the beach sprung into action and called an ambulance.
“I was in an enormous amount of pain, possibly the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. Luckily, after the ambulance had arrived, the medics gave me pain medication to dampen the discomfort.”
It’s inconceivable that Moore would suffer such a major injury playing a game of football on the beach. While undergoing treatment at the hospital, doctors told him they couldn’t determine a cause of the broken femur, explaining that it was a freak accident.
After a couple of days in the hospital Moore’s parents arrived to take him home where he would soon begin several months of rehabilitation in Miami. The injury brought the final semester of his senior year in college to a screeching halt. “I only had a few more classes left to complete. I was set to graduate the next month.”
With a metal rod put in his leg, doctors told Moore it would be months before he would be able to walk again. Luckily, he only spent several weeks in a wheelchair before he started using a walker to get around. Moore recalls how out of shape he became while he was in a wheelchair. “I gained some weight because I couldn’t be active. I didn’t feel as good and that kind of got to me.”
To make his situation worse, doctors diagnosed and treated Moore for a blood clot, explaining to him that it was a result of a complication from his surgery.
Moore has played sports since he was little and had never experienced any sort of injury. The 27 year-old project manager living in Atlanta remains active today, playing in kickball and softball leagues, doing a little bit of rock climbing and hiking.
Moore said he doesn’t let his past injury hamper his urge to get his heart pumping by staying active. “I’m not scared of it breaking again … my leg is even stronger.”
As someone who had to recover from a major injury, Moore has advice for others who are going through similar setbacks. He wants people to digest an injury in one simple way. “Look at the injury as though you are riding a bike. When you first started riding a bike you fell off a few times, but each time you got back on and continued to ride. You were determined that you wouldn’t fall off again. With that said, keep fighting … let your body heal … allow your injury to run its course. If you do that, you’ll be back on your bike again.”
Following several months of rehab and with an optimistic attitude, Moore returned to school the following spring and completed his remaining credit hours and graduated.