Kelsey Suiter: Ankle Sprain & Sports Medicine

“Dr. Brewer and Barent were very up front about the work it was going to take to get back on the volleyball court. They told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear.”

For Jackson College sophomore Kelsey Suiter, December’s volleyball practice began like any other. But when she went up for a hit and landed wrong, that all changed. “In 12 years of playing volleyball, I’d never been injured, so I thought I could just walk it off. But there was a sharp, painful feeling and my ankle was swollen to the size of a softball.”

Kelsey’s teammates were quick to alert their team’s trainer, Barent Bradt. Barent is a member of the Henry Ford Allegiance Sports Medicine team. “If Barent hadn’t been there, I’m not sure what I would have done. I was scared,” Kelsey said. Barent reassured Kelsey and helped to make her transport to the Henry Ford Allegiance Emergency Department less painful by making her a custom splint.

The Henry Ford Allegiance Emergency Department team ordered x-rays, which confirmed Kelsey had a high and low ankle sprain. After being placed in a splint and given crutches, Kelsey was referred to Michelle Brewer, DO, with Henry Ford Allegiance Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Brewer took time to carefully explain the details of the rehabilitation process to Kelsey. Besides wearing a walking boot for four weeks, Kelsey would need to commit to weeks of physical therapy with Barent.

“Dr. Brewer and Barent were very up front with me about the work it was going to take to get me back on the volleyball court. Barent respectfully told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear, and I appreciated that.”

“The physical therapy was very helpful. It will still take time for the damage to completely heal, but Barent, Dr. Brewer and the friendly staff at Henry Ford Allegiance definitely made the process easier to handle.” -Kelsey Suiter

Kelsey anticipated a slow recovery process, but within six weeks, she was happy to be back on the volleyball court with her team. "The physical therapy was very helpful. It will still take time for the damage to completely heal, but Barent, Dr. Brewer and the friendly staff at Henry Ford Allegiance definitely made the process easier to handle.”

Kelsey plans to transfer to Adrian College this fall to complete a degree in Sports Management. Seeing members of the Henry Ford Allegiance Sports Medicine team, like Barent, in action has given her inspiration for her future career. Kelsey noted that she’s had a number of trainers over the years, but Barent’s approach stands out. “He gives us accurate information and teaches us so that we understand how our bodies work. We’re athletes and knowing this helps us to know how to prevent future injuries.”

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