Sports Medicine Patient Stories :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Patient Stories

At Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine, we realize that athletes have specialized concerns – they want to get better and get back in the game. That's why we want you to meet some of our patients – they've been down the road to recovery and want to share their successes with you.

Kayla Start

In 2010, I joined weight watchers and lost close to 40 pounds. But, I still needed to know how to fuel my body correctly for the amount of competition and training I do, and also to help me get one step closer to achieving future goals. I would have an upset stomach during and after every race/ride, and my energy levels were down - but I couldn’t figure out why.

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Kayla Start on BikesIssues were causing me to not be able compete at the level I was training for. I reached out to my family doctor, Dr. David Scoggin, and he directed me to Jessica Buschmann, who is a Sports Nutritionist at Children’s. After one meeting with her, my stomach pain went away and I started to do better at my races. We had a follow up meeting and talked about muscle cramping; my cramping has decreased to almost zero. After two appointments, I can tell a huge difference, as well as my family, friends, coach and competitors. I have learned so much working with Jessica and I look forward to what we will accomplish down the road.

  • Birthday: June 28, 1991
  • Favorite Food: Grilled Chicken
  • Siblings: Two younger brothers
  • Hometown: Lancaster, Ohio
  • Favorite Sport: Cycling
  • Favorite Sports Team: Trek Mountain Bike Team or LIV Mountain Bike Team
  • Sports you play and how long: I am a competitive cyclist who races every weekend. I have been riding since I was 9, but started racing seriously in 2012/2013.
  • How you became interested in your sport: I was terrible at every sport I tried growing up and my Papaw decided to take me on a bike ride. He taught me how to shift gears and use the brakes. We went on to doing GOBA (an annual week-long bike trip) in 2003, and we haven’t missed a year yet. I got a job in a bike shop in 2009 and wanted to get a “fast” bike. My dad told me if I started racing, I could. I now have a coach and travel over the United States to race.

Adam Snyder

I first met Kelsey McGuff in July of 2013 when she became the new athletic trainer at Liberty Union High School. On October 4, 2013 we were scheduled to play a regular season football game against a new league rival. The game quickly became violent and throughout the game I took several vicious hits. At the end of the game, we shook hands with the other team and returned to the locker room to get changed into our street clothes to celebrate the victory. This, however, would not be the case for me that night. I took two steps into the locker room and collapsed onto the floor. My hands started to seize up and feeling throughout my body was starting to go away. Kelsey had known something was wrong with me by the way I was acting throughout the game.

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 During the event she continually monitored me; when I fell she was right there. Kelsey talked to me like a friend that night, walking me through each step of what was going on and what was going to happen next.

I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s to be evaluated. When all of the tests were done, I was diagnosed with a concussion. Once friends and family members were permitted into my room, to my surprise there was Kelsey at the end of my hospital bed. If I am not mistaken, not every Athletic Trainer would drive 45 minutes to see how their athlete was doing. From this point on, I knew that Kelsey had my back through anything.

After my concussion, I knew that no matter what I could count on and trust Kelsey. For someone to take time and drive that far to see someone means a great deal to me, and I am sure many more people feel this way. Kelsey is an astonishing, incredible, and spectacular athletic trainer that is devoted to her job. I know every athlete at our school that has either spoken or worked with Kelsey is impressed with her skill sets and her caring nature for all of us student athletes. I am grateful to have an Athletic Trainer like Kelsey McGuff to have my back in any situation!

Adam Snyder, 17
Liberty Union High School  


Alexis Butterbaugh

A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with scoliosis and was sent to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. Nationwide Children’s staff treated me nicely and explained my situation to my mom and I. They showed us where my curve was located and told me that it should not affect my daily life. My scoliosis hasn't prevented me from playing the sports I love. I play goalie for my soccer team and run track and cross country. Because of my scoliosis, I occasionally have issues with my back being tight and sometimes doing goalie dives along with the running irritate the muscles in my back. With the assistance of Nationwide Children’s athletic trainer, Aaron Barber, I can stay at the top of my game.

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Aaron helps me with exercises to keep the muscles in my back loose and strong. Just recently, I had some soreness in my back on the vertebra. Aaron suggested we have an x-ray to make sure nothing was fractured or changed with the curve of my spine. He set everything up for me to see Dr. Bowman at Nationwide Children’s Close to Home facility.

Dr. Bowman received my x-rays and compared them to previous x-rays to see if there was a change with my scoliosis or a new issue. He determined that my back was out of line and made some adjustments. I felt better right away. He clearly explained the issues, and what he had done. He talked to me about stretches I could do to help with tightness and how important core exercises were for me. Dr. Bowman sent Aaron a report so he would know about my treatment and what to do to assist me to stay healthy.

I have had some other injuries associated with playing sports. Each time I’ve been to Nationwide Children’s the staff has been very helpful. The doctors and staff have shown care and have provided the needed assistance to help get me back to playing the sports I love quickly and safely.

Alexis Butterbaugh, 16
Amanda Clearcreek High School  


Alli King

Alli King has a history of knee injuries that she has been seen for at Nationwide Children's, including 2 previous ACL tears an MCL tear, and meniscal damage, all which have happened throughout her high school basketball career. She has been through rehab for these injuries over the last 3 years. She has worked with Athletic Trainers in Functional Rehab as well as our Sports Medicine physician Dr. Fischer, and her high school Athletic Trainers.

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Recently, Alli injured her L knee for the second time. She has since been working in the Athletic Training room to strengthen her musculature and maintain range of motion. She plans to have surgery in the spring. Until then she is looking forward to cheering her team on and helping them win tournament games.

Alli says, “The Athletic Trainer at Reynoldsburg High School, Regina Hunter, as well as the Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine Staff, have supported me with my injuries, both physically and mentally.”


Sherice Kelley

Sherice Kelley is a junior girls basketball player at Reynoldsburg High School. On 9/16/2013, she landed awkwardly after a rebound and experienced sharp pain in her hip and leg. She was diagnosed with a posterior acetabular wall fracture on 9/25/2013 by Dr. Cuff, and had a surgical repair done by Dr. Klingele on 10/1/2013.

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She began physical therapy on 11/22/2013, and has since been receiving treatment in the Athletic Training Room while slowly being returned to participation in basketball. She began jogging the week of 2/3/2014, and has been improving every day.

Sherice says, “When I needed help, Nationwide Children’s Athletic Trainer, Regina Hunter, and Sports Medicine Team were there right away”


Jarrod Gilliam

Jarrod’s injury began during lacrosse season his Freshman year. We believe he strained his hamstring because not only was he playing lacrosse, but he was also lifting and participating in open gyms for basketball. When lacrosse season ended, we assumed it would get better with a couple weeks of rest.

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When he was still having pain, Jarrod began to worry, as he was leaving for basketball camp in a few weeks. We scheduled an appointment at Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine, where he began functional rehab with Kerry Waple. She worked with him and was able to get him to where he could go to camp and participate. He had a slight set back during summer league, but he kept working with Kerry at Nationwide Children’s and it got better. Jarrod was able to go on and have a successful football season and is currently in basketball season with no pain in his hamstring. It is important to him that he stays healthy, as he is heading to Florida on spring break with his lacrosse team.

The most difficult part of all of this is being patient. It works, it just takes some time. Your child wants to hurry up and get back in the game, but don’t rush it. In the long run, it is worth it. Explain to your child that if you try to go back too soon, you could do more damage and be out even longer.

  • Birthday: 8/25/95
  • Favorite Food: Fettuccini
  • Siblings: Kyle – 13
  • Hometown: Lewis Center
  • Favorite Sport: Lacrosse
  • Favorite Athlete: Craig Krenzel
  • Favorite Sports Team: Buckeyes
  • Sports you play: Football, Basketball, Lacrosse
  • How you got interested in sports: playing since childhood

Chris Skaggs

During the third week of my 2009 varsity football season I received a pretty sever concussion. Playing wide receiver I was blindsided by a strong safety and was hit helmet to helmet. I had excruciating headaches, loss of sleep, increased irritability, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise for over a week following the hit.

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No one knew exactly how long I would be out for. I was told that it could be anywhere from two weeks up to the rest of the season! The hardest part of the entire ordeal was seeing my starting spot be taken and not knowing if I would ever get it back.

The best advice I could give someone going through a concussion injury is to listen to your doctors and don’t try to be “tough” and come back too soon. You only get one brain, don’t take it for granted.

  • Birthday: October 25, 1992
  • Favorite food: Slushies from Speedway
  • Siblings: Andrew (21)
  • Hometown: Pataskala, Ohio
  • Favorite sport: Baseball
  • Favorite athlete: Tim Lincecum
  • Favorite sports team: New York Yankees
  • Sports I play: Football (9 years), Baseball (11 years), Basketball (9 years)
  • How I got interested:
    • Football – I used to watch my brother play and I wanted be like him.
    • Baseball – I went to a Columbus Clippers game as a young kid and thought it as the coolest thing I had ever seen.
    • Basketball – I used to have a hoop in my driveway and would just shoot for hours at a time.

Chris Skaggs' Story submitted by his parents, Hunter and Melissa Skaggs

It was just another Friday night football game against what we would consider a rival in our town. Chris had been playing well on both offense and defense. It was the fourth quarter, so as a parent you’re beginning to breathe again as the game is coming to a close. You have to remember though; it’s not over till it’s over. WHAM! Helmet to helmet hit while going for a low passed ball as a receiver.

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The defender had taken him out and Chris never knew what hit him. Several minutes went by as he was checked over and then helped off the field, and our Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine athletic trainer Tina was assisting him the whole time. Our team physician from Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine, Dr. Cuff was also there and began to examine him immediately after they had gotten him off the field. Concussion for sure, maybe more. He went home that night and back to the athletic trainer the next day. Headaches became common for a while. Our athletic trainer had given him a baseline concussion test prior to the season beginning and I have never been more grateful for a test. That information really helped Dr. Cuff determine the extent of the injury and how he was healing.

It had taken a few weeks for him to be released and get back into the game, but he did. It was hard for him to watch his teammates play without him but he soon realized that he had to do what the doctor said and that this brain needed some rest to recover. We had just started with the Nationwide Children's athletic training program at our school and a lot of parents were not really sure about the pre-testing. They have made a believer out our family and Tina and Chris have developed a relationship through this process as well as his type I diabetes. He knows that Tina always there to help him out and to look out for his best “physical” interest when it comes to health management.

Our family is grateful to our athletic trainer Tina, our team physician Dr. Cuff and the staff at Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine as he went through visits and an MRI.


Joe Chandler

Joe felt a pain in his lower back which hurt when he ran or kicked the soccer ball.  After about a month with no improvement, we finally scheduled an appointment at Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine and had several tests over the next few weeks which confirmed that Joe had a stress fracture in his lower back.

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Thankfully, no surgery was required, but treatment consisted of wearing a back brace and limiting activity to nothing more than walking for several months.  This was hard, but Joe played a lot of video games to pass the time.

It was such a relief when Joe was pain free and able to start the functional rehabilitation.  After about 2 months of rehab, Joe returned to soccer and played on his high school team this fall with no problems.  He continues to do his stretching and core strengthening exercises several times a week.

Do what they say.  Wear your back brace as much as they tell you.  I wore a t-shirt under the brace to help avoid irritation.  Once rehab starts, do your exercises faithfully every day.  They don’t really take that long to do. So just do it.  It helps when someone does them with you.

Watching games from the sidelines was difficult, but can help pass the time and make you still feel a part of the team.

I had no problem with soccer this fall.  I just added a few of my rehabilitation exercises to the warm-up routine the team did.  It is a little harder to remember to exercise now that soccer is over, but my mom reminds me.

  • Birthday: 9/21
  • Favorite Food: pancakes
  • Siblings: 3 brothers
  • Hometown: Gahanna  
  • Favorite Sport: Soccer
  • Favorite Sports Team: Celtic FC
  • Sports: Soccer since 4 yrs old
  • How interested in the sport: Brothers played

Samantha Miller

During the winter of my freshman year, I was playing club volleyball. I started having back problems that affected how much I could play. My school athletic trainer Amanda refereed me to Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine. I went through a bunch of tests and I found out I have Spina Bifida Occulta. I didn’t really know what that was or what it could do to me until my doctor explained it to me.

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I had to sit out at nationals for softball that summer, and half of my school volleyball season. That was the worst feeling ever. The best thing I could do was just be there for my team and cheer them on. But, with the rest and rehab I did, I came back to play. Now I still have to do my therapy almost every day to keep playing softball, and I know how important it is so that my back wont hurt anymore.

  • Birthday: 8/9/92
  • Favorite food: Pasta
  • Siblings: Nate, Nick, Saiena, Bryan and Ericka
  • Hometown: Reynoldsburg
  • Favorite sport: Softball
  • Favorite athlete: Natasha Watley
  • Favorite sports team: OSU
  • Sports I play: Softball (9 years)
  • How you got interested in your sport: Family

featured video

Andreas’ concussions took him out of school and sports. His family turned to the Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic because of our unique expertise in caring for young athletes like him.
The X-ray came back normal, but Nationwide Children's Sports Medicine physicians still suspected a stress fracture was to blame for Jasmine's pain. They were right.
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