As any professional athlete can tell you, injuries of any kind can be devastating to one’s career, both physically and financially. Jamie Watson, a 25-year-old professional soccer player, is a perfect example. Soccer is his life; this is what he loves to do more than anything else. So, when serious injuries to his knee and shoulder threatened to bring his beloved career to a screeching halt, Jamie came face to face with one of his biggest fears. “I was very concerned I would never play again,” Jamie recalled. “The idea of living life on the sidelines was overwhelming.”
Being a professional for the last seven years, Jamie has experienced many healthcare facilities and many top-level sports physicians. So, any time he meets a new doctor and puts his health and his career in their hands, he needs to have an enormous amount of trust in them.
“I find it very difficult to trust healthcare professionals,” Jamie admitted, “because of what I do for a living, trust is a big issue with any type of healthcare. So, when I got to Orlando Health, I was pleasantly surprised, because they treated me like I was someone important, like I mattered.”
When asked about his doctor Jay C. Albright, MD, team physician for Orlando City Soccer and resident at Orlando Health’s Level One Orthopedics at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Jamie enthusiastically shared his experience: “Right off the bat, I could tell Dr. Albright knew what he was doing. He was optimistic, smart, caring … which is important because you look to your doctors for the confidence you need to get better. I can’t think of a doctor who did a better job.”
In order to get Jamie back to tip-top professional shape and ready for the next season, Dr. Albright designed a series of strength-building and stability therapies for him to follow on a daily basis. Then, once the initial damage to his knee had healed, Jamie was encouraged to get creative with his workouts, which included a mix of aerobic exercises, weights and cycling. Orlando Health even has an underwater treadmill, which Jamie used to help minimize the impact of his workouts.
And now? “I’m healthier than I was before!” Jamie exclaimed. After two months of therapy for his dislocated shoulder, he was given a special brace that allowed him to get back in the game long before he ever expected. And five to six weeks after his knee injury and subsequent physical therapies, he was playing even better than before. “Not only did Dr. Albright and his team get me back to playing earlier than I thought,” Jamie added, “they led me back to a strong, contract year!”
Currently, Jamie has an offer to stay in Orlando and get back into major league soccer — something he was not sure would be possible after all his injuries. Now, at the halfway point of his career, his goal is to continue to play professional soccer until he is at least 33 years old, which means, “maintaining my body so it doesn’t fall apart; to stay at peak level. I’m hoping to prolong my career as long as possible,” Jamie said with confidence.
Now that Jamie knows what is truly possible with the help of a superb medical team, he is more confident than ever that he can achieve this goal.
And thanks to the dedication and commitment of the Orlando Health team to ensure the best quality care for patients, Jamie no longer has to be concerned about trust when it comes to his healthcare. Jamie acknowledged that having the freedom to communicate any and all concerns as well as having access to the best treatment modern medicine has to offer is what made his experience at Arnold Palmer Hospital truly unique. “They literally keep me up and running,” Jamie added.