Cincinnati Children's Blog

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.

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