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Cole’s Story Video Transcript

Cole: It was the first offensive play of the game. It was 63 iso. I bounced it out and…a kid took my leg out, another kid took me the other way and I heard a snap.

Tom: We’re in the stands, me and my wife. We weren’t too worried about it, then when we see him coming off the field with the trainer, Joyce Kastl, the teams trainer, she’s from Upper Valley Medical Center, with all the sports teams.

Joyce: As certified athletic trainers we are taught different types of assessment tools to evaluate the injury to determine one if it’s an emergency medical situation where we have to activate EMS to come on to the field, to transport that athlete to the emergency room right away, or is it stable enough that we can assist him to the sidelines for further assessment.

Tom: When she was helping him off the field, she had to get some guys to help him off the field, we knew that it might have been a little bit more serious, so…

Joyce: I was able to remove his shoe, assess the situation and determined that he did need to go to the hospital that night.

Dr. Zunkiewicz: My understanding was that he had been taken to another hospital, had some x-rays obtained and that those would be available for my review and he was discharged and told to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon.

Tom: They basically put a soft cast on it, didn’t try to set it or anything, gave us a card for their local orthopedic surgeon, said give this guy a call on Monday, and if you can get in, go from there, and sent us home.

Tom: So I sent the picture to Joyce, in turn, she had sent it to the surgeon at Upper Valley.

Joyce: Once I recognized the severity of the injury based on the x-ray, I sent it to Dr. Zunkiewicz, so that expedited the procedure, for getting Cole the appropriate care.

Dr. Zunkiewicz: I tend to be a little bit more, hyper vigilant, especially with my high school athletes. I think the sooner we get their treatment started, the sooner they can recover.

Cole: Yeah, I think we were all surprised it was that soon. ‘Cause they told us in the emergency room that we’ll probably get in, I’ll probably get in to see a doctor on Monday.

Dr. Zunkiewicz: He not only had a fracture, but the ankle was subluxated, partially dislocated and the two bones above his ankle were widened, spread too far apart. So if that isn’t corrected and those two bones aren’t put back together the way their supposed to, and the ankle joint isn’t reduced like it supposed to, he would not get proper range of motion back, he would not be able to walk properly and he would definitely develop significant arthritic change and chronic pain in that ankle.

Tom: So, we met at eight o’clock in the morning, at Upper Valley and did the surgery. Joyce Kastl was even in the room waiting for us when we got there.

Dr. Zunkiewicz: Joyce was absolutely critical in informing me that an injury had taken place and without her being involved in Cole’s case, I think it may have been Monday or Tuesday before I had even seen him.

Joyce: Our ethics is treat all athletes the same, so anybody that warrants my attention gets that undivided attention.

Dr. Zunkiewicz: Cole had a great prognosis in regards to his ankle, I fully expect that he’ll return to football practice in the summer and be participating in games in the fall.

Joyce: Upper Valley Center for Sports Medicine supplies 13 athletic trainers to area schools and one junior college.

Cole: A lot of schools don’t have someone who’s as qualified as Joyce, it’s really a privilege because, I mean, I could have been, we honestly didn’t know where to go, because without her help, so, it could’ve be a lot, the whole process could have been drawn out a lot more. It could’ve been a lot worse, I think.

Tom: She made all that happen where we had it right away. Like I say, the longer you wait, I’m sure that has an impact on your recovery.

Joyce: I don’t feel like I went above and beyond my job to help. It’s just who I am, it’s what I do.

Tom: They just did, I mean, it was just an outstanding job as far as we’re concerned because, to go from, come back Monday, maybe you get an appointment, to being totally done by Saturday night, was a big relief to us.

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