Patient Stories

Kevin D. Sumida, MD

First he heard the pop, and then he felt the pain. Sixteen-year-old Garrett had dislocated his left shoulder during a tackling drill for his football team, the Marshall High School Statesmen. As an avid athlete who also wrestles for Marshall, Garrett didn’t want to sit on the sidelines. Thanks to a unique collaboration between local certified athletic trainers (ATCs) and OrthoVirginia, he didn’t have to.

John Reynolds, Marshall High School’s ATC, sent Garrett and his parents to see Kevin Sumida, MD, at OrthoVirginia. After weighing treatment options, they decided on rehabilitation rather than surgery. From that moment on, everyone worked together to help Garrett make a successful return to football and wrestling.

Reynolds supervised the majority of Garrett’s rehabilitation in Marshall’s athletic training room, focusing on exercises to build strength in his shoulder and restore stability. As Garrett’s return to football drew closer, Reynolds and Dr. Sumida communicated extensively to choose an appropriate brace and outline play progression for his coaches. They continued to work with him throughout the fall and winter to keep his shoulder as strong as possible.

This close collaboration ensured a safe return to football and wrestling for Garrett, who relied on his ATC’s expertise and support. Garrett’s mother Holly says the partnership worked like a “synchronized machine” in coordinating her son’s recovery. She feels fortunate to have the resources of a knowledgeable ATC working in concert with a skilled team of physicians in the community. “My husband and I were reassured that our son was getting the proper diagnosis and treatment. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not he was following the rehabilitation plan because we knew he was being watched carefully,” she says.

Garrett returned to the football field this fall, under the watchful eyes of both John Reynolds and Dr. Sumida, who attends the Marshall High School games. “If someone gets hurt, they are right there,” Garrett says. “They look out for me and my teammates.”

“My husband and I were reassured that our son was getting the proper diagnosis and treatment. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not he was following the rehabilitation plan because we knew he was being watched carefully,” Garrett’s mother Holly says.