Unbroken Spirit: Gymnast bounces back

Zoe Bruce, a competitive gymnast, was practicing on the high bars two years ago when she fell and broke and dislocated both elbows.

With her arms wrapped in full wrist-to-shoulder casts, Zoe needed help with everything from getting dressed to eating and using the bathroom, says her mother Tiffany Bruce.

But the family credits Charles T. Mehlman, DO, MPH, a pediatric orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s, for getting Zoe back in the game. In March 2012, Zoe won the Level 6 Ohio state championship in vault and placed as third overall gymnast in the competition.

“After I injured my arms, it made me realize that I wanted to be a gymnast, that I didn’t want to quit,” says Zoe, now 11 and back to competing. “Who would have thought that a 9-year-old girl could come back from such a big injury?”

Watch this video to hear Zoe and her mother describe their experience.




Tanya Leach

About the Author: Tanya Leach

Tanya Bricking Leach is a writer and video producer at Cincinnati Children's and a former newspaper reporter who has covered crime for The Cincinnati Enquirer, sports for USA Today, island life for The Honolulu Advertiser, food for The Associated Press and stories about storms and surfers for the New York Times. Tanya is the author of the military-themed travel guide "Hawaii for Heroes." She is married to a military veteran and is the mother of two young boys. When she's not wired in at work, she enjoys unplugging with her family on their sailboat.

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