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Running like the wind after a series of health hurdles

The Visneskis credit Geisinger with pulling Grace through each time.

Last year, Grace Visneski, from Olyphant, Pa., began having trouble breathing when she ran. It turned out the 15-year-old had exercise-induced asthma. 

But the road to recovery wasn’t a short one for Grace. She fractured her pelvis while running track. After recovering, she returned to running — only to tear her labrum, the cartilage in her hip.

Grace’s care team gets her back on the track 

Upon her diagnosis of asthma, Geisinger respiratory therapist Ry Carman taught Grace how to use inhalers based on her training and running regimen. She could breathe easier now, making running easier too.

Then, when Grace was practicing one day, she felt a sudden pain in her hip and fell to the ground.

“My coaches ran over and picked me up,” she says. “My dad took me to an ER at a different hospital, and they told me I was fine, I had just sprained it. But we knew it wasn't that because it hurt really bad. So, we went to Geisinger the next morning and had another X-ray and set up an appointment for an MRI. After the MRI, we found out that I had fractured my pelvis.”

Grace says she was terrified she would never run again.

“I saw doctors who were very kind and helped me get through everything, making sure that I healed,” she says.

Jeffrey Summers, DO, Geisinger pediatric sports medicine specialist, helped Grace work through the pelvis fracture. 

She was on crutches and had to stay off her feet for about eight weeks. Then she went through physical therapy.

After finally being cleared to return to athletics, Grace tore her labrum running cross-country.

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Mark Seeley, MD, diagnosed her hip injury and counseled her on how to prevent further ones.

“She loves to run. Geisinger gave her back the ability to do what she loves,” says Grace’s father, Rich Visneski. “Because of the education Dr. Seeley gave to Grace, she’s pain and injury-free and no longer afraid of further injuries. Between all of these specialists, Grace is now running six to seven miles a day.”

Grace plans to run competitively through high school, college and beyond. She plans to go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon.

“Geisinger gave me the confidence to run again, and gave me hope that I would regain my strength,” Grace says. “I think I run faster now than I did before.”

Next steps:

Read and watch more stories
Learn about pediatric orthopaedics at Geisinger
Meet Jeffrey Summers, DO
Meet Mark Seeley, MD

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