Life After Injury: Mia Smith

Words: Caroline Chu

On January 5, Centennial junior Mia Smith suffered a harrowing injury, a torn ACL. A member of Centennial High School’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team, as well as Centennial’s Senior Dance Company, she worried that her injury would impact her ability to participate in the activities she loved.

Though she was not able to stand or walk by herself, Smith first believed she had just twisted her knee, and that she would be cleared to play basketball in a week or so. Sadly, she found out that she had torn her ACL a week after the accident, around the time she thought she would be back to dribbling and pirouetting.

Despite her season ending injury, Smith remained a team player and supported her teammates, showing up to nearly every practice and game.

For the two months before her surgery, she went to physical therapy led by Centennial High School’s trainer Amanda Ward.

The first five days after surgery were long as Smith was on bed rest. She needed to wear a brace for two weeks and use crutches for three, and was certainly happy once the equipment phase was over.

Attending physical therapy two times a week has aided in allowing Smith to become as flexible and as strong as she was before her injury. Though she described the early stages of recovery as “painful and exhausting,” she now looks forward to “recovering quickly and easily.”

In the future, Smith will need to wear a knee brace when playing sports, but she hopes that her injury will otherwise not continue to impact her life a year from now.

Smith learned a lot throughout the difficult process, “if I was in shape, ate healthy, and was prepared for the basketball season, my injury might not have been as terrible. Next year when basketball season comes around I’ll definitely be sure to fuel my body correctly and make sure I can endure all the physical aspects of practice and games.”

A strong support system composed of her parents, sister, teammates, and friends helped Smith push forward in her recovery. Smith will continue to work hard so she can return to both the stage and the court for her last year at Centennial.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan

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