Stories about: Dr. Pierre d’Hemecourt

After competitive dreams end, gymnast finds a new beginning

Plica syndrome
Colby at the beach

Colby Parsons fell in love with gymnastics at age 4. “I loved the communal aspect of my team and the focus on mastery in gymnastics,” recalls Colby, now 19 and a Brown University freshman. As a young boy, Colby dreamed of competing as an all-around gymnast in Nationals. But sometimes life plans don’t go according to plan.

As a young teen, Colby was ranked fifth in Massachusetts, but he was in constant pain. His parents thought his knee pain might be caused by growing pains or an overuse injury. His coach suspected shin splints.

“His pediatrician said, ‘Give it a few weeks. Take a break from gymnastics,’” recalls his mother Nancy.

But kids like Colby really don’t take a break.

Despite the pain, Colby continued to compete and reached the state championships in 2012. During a run to the vault, his knee pain became so intense he couldn’t complete the run.

“He had to scratch. It was devastating,” says Nancy.

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After 9 surgeries, Emily walks down the aisle

Emily and Mitch dance at their weddingEmily (Lagor) Monteiro, 25, wasn’t sure she’d be walking or dancing at her June 13 wedding. However, she achieved both—an accomplishment she credits to Drs. Pierre d’Hemecourt and Lyle Micheli, both from Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine. “They’re my superheros.”

It’s a bold statement for a young woman who admits to being terrified of anesthesia. But that fear helped solidify her relationship with Micheli.

Prior to one of her surgeries, nurses couldn’t get Emily’s IV started.

“I cried the whole way to the operating room. I was creating a scene. They finally got the IV in. The last thing I remembered before surgery was Dr. Micheli rushing in and giving my hand a big squeeze.”

Since then, Emily and Micheli have shared this special pre-surgical ritual.

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