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Pushing through the pain

Senior Mark Carpio sustains injury for nearly five years

Senior+Mark+Carpio+hyperextended+his+left+knee+in+seventh+grade+and+still+faces+repercussions+today.
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Pushing through the pain

Senior Mark Carpio hyperextended his left knee in seventh grade and still faces repercussions today.

Senior Mark Carpio hyperextended his left knee in seventh grade and still faces repercussions today.

Photo by Somari Carr

Senior Mark Carpio hyperextended his left knee in seventh grade and still faces repercussions today.

Photo by Somari Carr

Photo by Somari Carr

Senior Mark Carpio hyperextended his left knee in seventh grade and still faces repercussions today.

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A young football player practices the typical drills to the point that they are almost muscle memory, but this day of practice will have a shocking twist that will change his life forever. This player will remember this event as one to either make or break his future career in football.

“I injured my knee was when I was in the seventh grade and I hyperextended my left leg,” senior Mark Carpio. “I was at football practice on defense and we didn’t have knee pads at the time so someone tackled me right on my knee and bent it the wrong way.”

When Carpio returned home from football practice, his parents were surprised to see their son limping into the house. They weren’t expecting him to come home from school with a severe injury. His parents bombarded him with questions about how he got injured and rushed him to the hospital to get him checked out by a doctor.

When the results of his X-ray came back to the family, they found out Carpio had hyperextended his left knee. This was caused by one of his teammates tackling him too hard at a certain angle, forcing him to bend his knee the wrong way.

“My husband and I found out about our son’s injury when he came home from school and I noticed that he was limping,” Carpio’s mother Stephanie Gonzalez said. “So, I asked him what was wrong and he said he hyperextended his leg during practice.”

Carpio has struggled with this injury for five years leading all the way to his senior year of high school. His family and friends express their consistent worries for Carpio whenever they see him in pain.

“I hate to see my son struggling because of his injury so I want him to get surgery so he doesn’t have to struggle anymore,” Carpio’s father Eric Gonzalez said. “He says he will be fine without the surgery. He is almost a grown man so he has to make his own decisions and I must respect his decision regardless of how I feel.”

The surgery he needs to fix his injury will require him to have his knee cut open and from there the doctor will pump red blood cells into his knee membrane to increase the healing rate.

Regardless of what his friends and family tell him, Carpio refuses to accept the surgery, trusting his gut feeling that he will be fine without it.

“My friends and family want me to get surgery as soon as possible so I don’t have to deal with the pain anymore,” Carpio said. “They hate the fact that I am injured and they just want me to be healthy again.”

He had trouble moving and playing sports at first with his injury but, as the years passed, Carpio pushed through the discomfort and continued living his life becoming accustomed to the pain until he was no longer as bothered by it.

“My injury makes it harder for me to [walk] up the stairs during school; [during] football practice I have to wear a metal knee brace whenever I workout except when I run because it just gets in the way even though my knee hurts,” Carpio said. “I push through [the pain] to get what I want out of every workout or play during football. Just because my body may be damaged, my mind will always push my body further and further past its limits.”

Carpio is determined to prove that no matter what pain his body feels he can accomplish anything with hard work and dedication.

“I [might] get the surgery depending on how I feel because I can handle the pain my knee gives me,” Carpio said. “I’m waiting until the end of football season to even consider getting the surgery and I am sure that I won’t be needing it anytime soon.”

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Pushing through the pain