Six hundred ninety-three days ago, quarterback for the Washington Football Team, Alex Smith, broke his leg in a game against the Houston Texans. The injury was so horrific that doctors thought Smith would lose his leg. Almost two years later, he is not just walking, he’s playing in the NFL.
Alex Smith’s injury
On November 18th, 2018, a sack by Houston Texans Defensive End, JJ Watt, left Alex Smith with a spiral fracture that went from his ankle to his knee. Smith underwent a surgery that would stableize his leg with rods and screws and was told he would be in rehab within a couple of days. After the surgery, Smith was still in severe pain and was fighting a high fever. Over the next few days his condition continued to worsen. The doctors found that Smith’s leg was infected and the infection had traveled into his blood stream, making him septic. His condition was now beyond a football injury, it was now a matter of life and death.
The infection was so bad that the doctors had all options on the table, including amputation.
Smith’s wife Elizabeth was told by the doctors that.
“Our first priority is we’re going to save his life. And then we’re going to do our best to save his leg. And anything beyond that is a miracle.”
It took 17 surgeries within nine months to save his leg and get him on a path to recovery. Smiths injury was unlike any injury that an NFL player had ever experienced. He was told by doctors that it looked like something a combat veteran would sustain, not a football player. Smith and his doctors sought out special permission for him to rehab to at the Center for the Intrepid which is a rehabilitation center for combat veterans.
After months of hard work, Smith was able to start working out, and in late July of 2020, he was cleared to participate in football activates. This was the scene at the Smith household.
On October 11th, Alex Smith completed the miracle that he and the doctors could only dream about in the years prior. In Sunday’s game against the Rams, quarterback Kyle Allen left the game with an injury just before the half. Alex Smith stepped in and played well, even though the team lost by twenty. In the game, he proved his durability after getting sacked five times. Check out some of these highlights.
After the game, Smith told reporters how big getting back on the field was for him.
“I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a lot of days I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Smith said. “You’ve just got to keep pushing through. I always felt when I had my darkest moments, there was always something around the corner that happened and I kept plugging along. I’d make a big gain or big step or something clicked. … And for me the biggest ones were the last six to eight weeks, getting on the field and knowing I can do it and doing it consistently.”
If Alex Smith’s comeback can teach us anything, it’s that nothing is impossible as long as we have the right attitude and the right people behind us!
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