When Grace Gannon tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a Lacrosse tournament in what she calls a “crazy freak injury,” in the summer of 2022, the disciplined high school athlete says she was devastated.
Grace, now 18, a senior at Central Bucks South High School, has been playing several sports from an early age, including field hockey, basketball, Lacrosse, and more, and honed in on Lacrosse in second grade.
Before her injury, as a high school freshman, she went to FitLife in Ivyland to do routine workouts and would see people with ACL injuries working out. Since IvyRehab Physical Therapy is housed in the same building, Gannon was familiar with the bustling PT practice.
“Obviously, I wanted the best possible physical therapy after my surgery. I had already committed to play at a division One college, the University of Richmond, and wanted to be 100 percent for my freshman year,” Grace recently explained. She plans to major in business in college.
“After watching IvyRehab Clinic Director Mike St. George PT, DPT work with other clients, I thought there was no better option for my rehabilitation, and now that I am nearly ready to play Lacrosse again, I know that I was right about putting my faith in him.
What Grace says she saw in St. George and IvyRehab PT was consistency, an unmatched work ethic, and a passion for helping others. “Mike is always so invested in every athlete, and every client, and it was so clear he not only cared about their actual athletic performance but also about them as people,” Grace said.
“I would see people transition away from him and into the next stage of rehab with a different trainer at the gym and he was still devoted to their recovery,” she said, “and always interested in making sure that they were doing well.”
Before coming to IvyRehab for PT, Grace said she had gone “to a chain place,” when she was in 8th grade, and the difference was startling.
What she underwent at the other place “was super basic workouts. I would be sitting there next to someone who had a completely different injury, from a different age and gender, and we were doing nearly the same exact workouts. It was pretty discouraging going there and I would always be super confused about why I was doing what I was doing and what it was going to do for me.”
In contrast, working with St. George, “I had sessions that were super specific to my injury and what I needed to achieve my goals.,” Grace said. “It was clear from the first moment I started PT that Mike cares so much about all of his patients.”
So, what did Gannon learn from St. George? “Obviously, I learned proper squat form and all that basic stuff, but I also learned the importance of consistency and hard work,” she explained. “As Mike made very clear to me from the beginning, if I wanted to have the best recovery possible, I would need to have those values.”
In addition, she said that St. George “helped me learn to trust myself because there are definitely times when I did not while learning a new movement.”
An example is learning how to jump again after surgery. “Initially, I was too scared to try it, Mike pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do it, and I felt the sweet success.”
Eight months of “sitting on the sidelines,” Gannon says has been difficult, especially being one of three captains of her team. But she is also happy to be a cheerleader for her team until she gets cleared to play, which could happen as early as late May, nearly a year post-surgery.
As a high school athlete, she appreciates the support from her parents, Jody and Terence Gannon. “To get recruited by a college team I had to drive almost an hour each way to practice for a coach and a team that would be able to get me there. So, my parents did those two-hour trips for nearly three years to help me get where I am. After my injury, they were super reassuring and helped me find the best surgeon and PT. I am so grateful for that.”
“I would recommend Mike at IvyRehab PT because he really cares about all of his patients, he wants the best for everyone, and is so devoted to what he does,” she said. “I admire that he does so much beyond typical PT when it comes to injury prevention, nutrition, sleep, and more. To him, it’s about so much more than just those hour sessions.”
What should patients seeking PT be looking for in a practice or provider? “You should look for someone who really cares about you as a person and is willing to take the time to get to know you as more than just the patient in their facility,” Gannon said.
“Look for someone who cares about their craft and puts in a great deal of work outside of just when they’re working with a patient to make sure that they provide the best possible care.”
With her sights on playing Lacrosse at the University of Richmond, and to be completely recovered from her torn ACL, Gannon said she “would just love to mentally be completely back to where I was before an injury, to continue to grind and work hard, and to implement all of the physical and mental lessons I’ve learned to help me throughout my college career.”
For more information on IvyRehab PT go to:
IvyRehab Physical Therapy and Sports Performance
Address: 157 Railroad Drive, Ivyland PA. 18974
Email: [email protected]