CINDY NELSON AND LEXI
1/3/2020, 3:13 PM EST
INTERVIEW TIME 12 MINUTES
CINDY: Lexi. It’s Cindy Nelson. Are you still OK to talk now?
LEXI: Hey Cindy. Sure. Thanks again for doing this. So, where do you want to start?
CINDY: Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me a bit about how you broke the leg.
LEXI: Well. It was in early October of 2016. I was a junior in high school, and we were playing at Rover our arch rival high school. Mom was there. Dad was working. It was the first period and I was dribbling toward the goal. The Rover Goalie came out of the goal. She was enormous. I mean I weigh 115 pounds. She must have weighed 200. When she tried to kick the ball, she got my leg instead.
CINDY: What was the extent of the injury?
LEXI: My leg was fucked. (Laughter). Sorry for the bad language. I broke the tibia and fibula right at mid shaft. And I strained some ligaments in my knee.
CINDY: Did you know the leg was broken right away.
LEXI: Oh yeah. I felt this weird crunching sound as I fell. I had the wind knocked out of me but when I was on the ground saw my leg was bent at this grotesque angle. Then the pain hit, and I felt like I was going to be sick.
CINDY: What treatment did you receive on the field?
LEXI: I can’t honestly tell you. I think I went into shock. I remember some girls from the other team looking at my leg, screaming, and covering their eyes. Then our trainer came on the field and threw a towel over my leg so no one could see it. And my teammates were all around me. One had my head in her lap and others were holding my hands. And my mom who was freaking out big time. I remember the ambulance showing up and riding in it. But I don’t remember any details.
CINDY: And what happened at the hospital.
LEXI: I’m so sorry, Cindy. But again it’s a blur. I remember they put my leg in this orange foam thing for x-rays. But by that point they were pumping drugs into me so I’m not really sure what’s real and what’s not. I think they changed me into a gown and took me to an operating room to set my leg. I woke up a few hours later in this huge splint covered in ace bandages.
CINDY: You spent the night in the hospital?
LEXI: Two nights actually. They wanted to make sure the swelling was under control. There was a huge debate about whether I would need surgery. I started playing soccer when I was 5 and I had always dreamed of playing college soccer. I had been taking college visits to schools in California and Washington State. And then I went and destroyed my leg. Mom and dad wanted me to avoid surgery. We talked to 4 doctors and they were split about what to do. So we tried the non-surgical route for a few weeks. They released me from the hospital in a full leg cast.
CINDY: Did the non-surgical route work?
LEXI: I wish. I was in the cast for four weeks. I went to the homecoming dance in the cast. Boy I felt really sexy. (More Laughter) They x-rayed my leg every week. And after four weeks, there was no sign of the bones knitting together. We had this ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with me and my parents and the surgeon. They operated on me the next day. I got a plate and rod and a bunch of screws in the leg. The surgeon said surgery was the best option for me to play college soccer.
CINDY: What happened after surgery?
LEXI: I was in another full leg soft splint for a couple of weeks. Then they took the staples out and put me in another full leg cast. The second one was purple. I was in that for five weeks then got moved to a walking boot. By Christmas I was out of the boot and started physical therapy.
CINDY: And today?
LEXI. (A pause). To tell you the truth, I had always dreamed of playing for a big college like Southern Cal or the University of Oregon. After I broke my leg, the only offer I got was from a small school in Nevada. And the coach there wanted to red shirt me. That means I would have to sit out a year and not play. With nothing else on the table, I jumped at the offer and enrolled last year.
CINDY: Did you get to play?
LEXI: No. My leg was totally screwed up. I never got my strength back and two of my toes are still numb. My ankle swells constantly. And the school was in the middle of the desert 100 miles from anything interesting. So I gave up soccer. I transferred to the Arizona State University and met my fiance. I guess in way the broken leg led me to what I hope is real happiness.
END OF TRANSCRIPT
Author's note. I would like to thank my cousin Brian who runs the Cast and Toes Blogspot for finding the original Lexi pictures on-line LINK