South Summit athlete battles blood disorder
Ryan Summerlin January 18, 2013
Abby Peterson would have rather been on a basketball court than a hospital bed.
"I just miss being able to do simple things like walk and being able to curl up into a ball when I sleep," she said from her hospital room on Tuesday afternoon. "Things like getting up to get a drink without needing someone to do it for you."
The South Summit senior, who has played soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball during her high school career, and is a member of the Wildcats’ cheerleading squad, was recently told her high school athletic career was in serious jeopardy.
Peterson was hospitalized for over a week to receive treatment for massive blood clots in her legs and abdomen, which her doctor said would bring her senior basketball season to an end and casts serious doubt on whether she’ll be able to play her last year of high school softball.
She was finally able to come home on Thursday after four procedures to remove the clots.
What started out as a sore back took a drastic turn during a stretching session with the athletic trainer.
"I started having back problems over Christmas break," she said. "On New Year’s, I couldn’t move my back. (Last week), I started to practice again and got a weird pain in my back."
Peterson, who had been to a chiropractor a couple times already during basketball season, figured it was just her back acting up again.
She quickly realized something else was happening.
After a visit with the trainer to stretch, things got much worse.
On Wednesday morning, Jan. 9, she was admitted to the hospital because of drastic swelling in her legs.
"I felt like I was going to throw up," she said. "My legs were numb and I couldn’t feel my feet."
Doctors at Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, Utah, are stumped as to what would cause these clots in a young athlete.
"It was kind of a shock," Abby’s father, Jeff Peterson, said. "She was in such perfect health. There was just no reason why this would happen. It kind of blew our minds."
Now, after all the procedures, Peterson is just trying to recover in time for softball season.
Though her doctors aren’t sure she’ll be able to handle it, Peterson thinks otherwise.
"I’m playing softball; I don’t care what they tell me," she said. "I love it and it’s my senior year, so I’ll do everything to get back."
She’ll have plenty of support in her quest to return. Already, the well wishes have been overwhelming. Since she has played multiple sports in her career, she has a lot of friends from Park City and North Summit high schools, in addition to South Summit.
"It means a lot," Peterson said of the support she’s received. "You don’t really know how many people are there for you until something bad happens."