Connie and Ben Dawson, of Dover, MA, have four children—and the six Dawsons never stop moving. Whether it’s soccer, distance running, rowing, swimming, hockey, tennis, skiing, or flag football, sports are part of the family’s culture; movement is in their DNA. So it’s no surprise that once in a while, one of the ultra-athletic Dawsons sustains an injury. And when they do, they come to the Baptist’s Sports Medicine experts for their care.
“We’re not slowing down any time soon,” says Connie Dawson, who first saw Dr. John Richmond, Medical Director for Network Development at NEBH and a nationally renowned Sports Medicine physician, for her own shoulder injury in the fall of 2011. Dawson had originally injured her shoulder playing competitive tennis 25 years before, but, at the time, hadn’t sought medical help.
“I didn’t want to give up my sport when I was managing it—I strengthened my shoulder, and was fine with a little pain. I wanted to think it would go away, and I kept playing tennis,” says Dawson. But in the winter of 2010, Dawson fell on icy stairs, exacerbating her shoulder injury. She underwent surgery at another hospital.
Unfortunately, that surgery was not successful, and eight months later, in pain and unable to sleep through the night—or participate in any of the activities and sports she loves—Dawson came to the Baptist at the recommendation of many friends. In 2011, Dr. Richmond operated, repairing Dawson’s rotator cuff, removing scar tissue, eliminating her pain, and restoring the full range of motion in her shoulder.
“Thanks to Dr. Richmond and the Baptist, I can sleep through the night pain-free, I can swim, I can do anything I want,” says Dawson. “I’m still playing competitive tennis, and I honestly didn’t think I was ever going to play tennis again.”
“It’s important to treat sports-related injuries early, no matter how old you are,” says Dr. Richmond. “Sports and fitness are such an important part of life today—now, children participate in more sports than they did a generation ago; adults remain physically active later in life. Sports Medicine is a growing field, and novel treatment options emerge every year that are keeping people moving throughout life, even into their later years.”
After her positive outcome at the Baptist, whenever Connie Dawson’s children sustained injuries playing sports, she brought each of them to the Baptist for care. Her son tore his meniscus while scoring a touchdown during a family flag football game on Thanksgiving, and two of the Dawsons’ three daughters sustained overuse injuries to their knees after years of competitive sports. The Dawson kids followed Dr. Richmond’s recommended protocols for surgery, physical therapy, and strengthening exercises, and all of the Dawsons are pain-free and back in motion, playing their sports again.
“The care at the Baptist is so expert, and so personal; you feel confident that when you walk into your doctor’s office, they know exactly who you are and why you’re there,” says Dawson. “Dr. Richmond is one of the top doctors in the country, but he’s my doctor. He’s direct, but he takes real time with me and answers all my questions. That’s why whenever my kids have had issues, he’s the only person I’d ever consider to treat them.”
In fact, Dawson has even referred her mother to Dr. Richmond for knee issues. “My mom is 77, and she’s still a fiendish athlete. She’s still playing tennis, and when she seeks help for her knee pain, she’ll be going to the Baptist,” says Dawson.
“Exercise is like the fountain of youth; after my surgery, I had a fresh start, and it was the best thing I ever did. It’s so nice to know that Dr. Richmond and everybody at the Baptist are there in case we need them.”