Road to Recovery with Claire Hummel ’17

Blake Drnec '17

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Blood, sweat and tears were all shed throughout three years of recovering from a bilateral stress fracture on the L5 vertebrae. Senior track star Claire Hummel started feeling pain freshman year, however it wasn’t to enough to get it checked out.

Sophomore year, “During track I noticed I couldn’t do anything without having a lot of pain, so then I went to the doctors where she told me I had a stress fracture on both sides,” said Claire. The doctor told Claire to just rest her back for 6-8 weeks and that it should heal on its own. After 8 weeks of rest Claire visited the doctor where she was told that her back was not healing on its own which meant more physical therapy, steroid injections and a back brace.

“I would go in every two months to get images of my back and it just wasn’t healing on its own,” says Claire. “So after two years I got surgery before my junior year, recovered for 9 more months and then by January junior year I was recovered and cleared to return to sports. Claire’s mom and her physical therapists were her main support system as her mom would drive her everyday to therapy and would always be there for her to keep her hopeful. Although all the major setbacks claire sustained hope and put in hours of hard work to recover herself to full strength.

She explains that, “This was probably the hardest thing I had to go through just because I always like to compete and outwork everyone because that’s always been a passion, so when that was taken away from me it was really hard for me to define myself.”

Because of Claire’s experience she became best friends with her Physical Therapist as she spent about three years working with her. Claire will be attending St. Louis University in hopes of becoming a physical therapist to help people like her get through and recover from injuries.

“Looking back this was probably one of the best things that happened to me because it really opened my eyes to the power of perspective because although your going through something hard right now I learned that for every setback there is always a comeback coming.”

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Road to Recovery with Claire Hummel ’17