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Knee Surgery Lets Student Pursue College Baseball

Trey McLawhorn was killing it in the fourth quarter of Arendell Parrott Academy’s second-to-last football game before the state championship. His team of fellow Patriots was winning, but he felt the toll of a night of intense play. As he planted and cut—making a sudden, sharp turn—his knee gave out. “I obliterated it,” said the Kinston native. “I tried to get up, but I couldn’t.”

After getting first aid, he contacted family friend Trey Mooring, PA-C, MHS, MEd, a physician assistant with UNC Orthopedics at Goldsboro. Mooring told the high school senior to come in the next morning. When Trey did, he got magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and saw Thomas Meares Green, DO, about the results.

Treatment From a Fellow Athlete

A fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist, Dr. Green diagnosed a torn meniscus and torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). “He had a great bedside manner. I liked him a lot,” Trey said. “He’d played football, and it was great to have a former athlete as my doctor. He knew how much I needed to get back out there.”

To fix his knee, Trey received treatment at Wayne UNC Health Care’s Surgery Center. His dad, K. Tracy McLawhorn, respiratory care practitioner at Wayne UNC, had previously undergone knee surgery and told his son what to expect. Kind nurses also helped Trey get ready for the procedure with Dr. Green.

After returning home, Trey began five months of outpatient physical therapy to help the joint heal, rebuild strength, and regain range of motion. He talked with Angelo Thompson, DPT, about their shared love of baseball while working on progressively harder exercises—from simple leg lifts to calisthenics.

Keeping Goals in Sight

Today, it’s back to sports and lifting weights for Trey, who was named his school’s male athlete of the year. Brigham Young University recruited him as a catcher for their baseball team, but first, he’s joining his church’s two-year mission trip to Panama. By the time he gets back, he expects to be able to do the squats needed for catching.

He’s grateful for the personalized care Wayne UNC experts provided. “I was very happy with the way I was treated,” he said.

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