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Rhodes road to recovery

MON| 10-16-23 | SPORTS

     It only took two falls to change a girl's life. Two falls changed Freshman Campbell Rhodes life forever, resulting in double knee surgery and delaying her love of volleyball for years.

      Rhodes joined the JV volleyball team this year because of the passion she has for the sport. She sets and hits on the right side, and brings a positive happy spirit to the team, always willing to work hard and encourage her teammates. Within the past three years, she has had two accidents that forever changed her life. One that held her back from being on the court for three years. After years of recovery, she is back and ready to continue playing the sport she loves most.

     Rhodes first dislocated her knee when she was eight years old playing in a tournament in Washington D.C.. She was diagnosed with the same thing her sister has: they both have shallow knee cap groves which occurred from genetics. When she was 12, it affected her again and she began having lots of pain and had to sit out of volleyball for the season. She began going to therapy to try and fix the issue in the meantime, but little did she know she would need surgery a year later. This set the way for a huge comeback.


     “My seventh grade year I had my left knee dislocated at a tournament in Washington D.C,” Rhodes said. “I was scared; my dad wanted to go to the emergency room and I just remember being like ‘NO’.”

     Rhodes' surgery process began a few weeks later, and this was a turning point for her comeback. With lots of physical therapy, constant prayer and encouragement from teammates, family and friends Rhodes was on the road to success and healing.

    “I literally could not have done it without so many people and everyone's supportive group and family and my teams,” Rhodes said.

     This road to success was coming along, until another fall and dislocation occurred in the spring of 2023.

     She had almost recovered from her left knee surgery which had been going on for 11 months, when the same accident happened on her right knee. Rhodes was out in the yard playing spike ball with some friends, when she went to dive for the ball and her knee went the opposite way. It stayed out of the socket for about 45 seconds, then rotated back to normal. Rhodes was overwhelmed with lots of emotions from what had happened; however, her family and her therapist both decided surgery would be best so that both injuries were out of the way in the future.

     “I was so mad, terrified and confused, mainly because I had just recovered from my left leg being hurt and I didn’t want to have to go through the whole process again,” Rhodes said.

     Within a week, Rhodes was on her way to Duke to get surgery on her right knee, and now for real this time she was beginning the road to success. The second go-round, she took it a lot more seriously. She put in a lot of effort, and with additional encouragement from others, weekly trips to Raleigh for physical therapy, and working out, she was in and out of recovery in five months.

     Rhodes was getting very frustrated and was ready to quit the process and not play again, however, she knew she had a long time of playing still to come, and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities she could have. She used this as motivation, as well as trusting in God to overcome this.

     “I definitely got closer with God because I could not go through it on my own,” Rhodes said. “It was having someone I could talk to all the time.”

     With an overall process taking up to 16 months, Rhodes is back on the court and has been so excited to get to be back at her favorite place playing her favorite sport: Volleyball.

     “Campbell gives off a very positive vibe, she’s always encouraging our teammates and is a great leader for our team,” Rhodes’ teammate, freshman Maggie Jarman said. “She is a very hard worker and is always pushing to get to the next point or to do the next drill.”

     Jarman plays alongside Rhodes on the court. She continues to say that Rhodes is such a good teammate and person to be around, and she strives to be like her.

     “She is a truly inspiring person to be around and she makes me want to be more like her,” Jarman said.

     Not only has this recovery and comeback taught Rhodes what it's like to be patient, but it has taught her what it's like to be a supporting teammate, and grown her personally. Rhodes begins to say that no matter the circumstance you’re in, the process is worth it to the end if you truly love what you do, and what you're working towards.

     “Don’t let any controversy affect your mindset or goals, and don’t lower your standards for what has happened to you,” Rhodes said. “ Use every trial as a way to get better and stronger and learn more about yourself and what you want yourself to be.”

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