Waverly Health Center

Individualized care helps young athlete overcome injury

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Individualized care helps young athlete overcome injury

March 29, 2024

Jackson and Casey Doyle, PT

Jackson Epley of Waverly was playing in an eighth-grade football game in early October when he was injured during kick off. His coaches and athletic trainer Logan Battreall of Taylor Physical Therapy were quickly by his side to help him off the field. Battreall completed an initial assessment and recommended a referral for imaging.  

The family’s pediatrician, Dr. Stacy Wagner, was also attending the game. She had an opening in her schedule the next day and could see Jackson less than 24 hours after his injury. Dr. Wagner and the team at the Waverly Health Center (WHC) Christophel Clinic quickly began contacting insurance and scheduling an MRI.  

“We are fortunate to have the newest MRI technology that offers state-of-the-art imaging, faster scans and larger bore,” said Dory Frericks, WHC radiology manager. “This makes it possible to quickly accommodate patient needs.”  

The MRI images clearly showed what was going on. Jackson had a fully torn ACL and partially torn meniscus.  

“I received a call from Dr. Wagner with the results and it meant so much to hear from her directly,” said Megan Epley, Jackson’s mom. “She knew this would be challenging and overwhelming, and she was empathetic to our situation. I could hear her concern as a parent and as someone who cares for our family.” 

After consulting with Dr. Wagner and Destry Sperfslage, ATC, CSCS, director of athletic training and sports medicine at Taylor Physical Therapy, surgery was scheduled for Jackson in Iowa City.  

Leading up to the date of his surgery, Jackson worked with Taylor Physical Therapy located at WHC to strengthen and prepare his body. Sperfslage monitored Jackson’s progress and modified his weightlifting program so he could continue to train other parts of his body despite his recovering knee. Throughout the rehabilitation process, Physical Therapist Casey Doyle worked closely with Jackson multiple times per week to ensure he was on track to meet his goal of returning to play. Doyle also communicated directly with the surgeon in Iowa City to ensure the best possible outcome for the young athlete.  

“It has been so helpful to do most of our appointments, imaging and recovery at one place,” said Megan. “We feel very fortunate to have had qualified trainers and medical professionals at a middle school game to help address our son’s injuries immediately. We have an amazing community and have been very supported throughout this process.”