The Quest for Gold: Not an Easy Road
Peter Daggett knew at an early age that he wanted to be a gymnast. Even when he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) performing gymnastics at age 10, he was determined to keep going.
This is a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. Peter’s father is gymnast Tim Daggett, who won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. Tim had multiple injuries and surgeries during his career and still persevered.
Both Tim and Peter are familiar faces at Baystate Rehabilitation Care.
“The Baystate Rehab team has always been there to help me,” says Peter, now age 16. “If they hadn’t been, I’m not sure how I could have kept on going.”
After what has already been a very successful career, Peter now has his sights set on making the Junior National Team. Someday, he hopes to be an Olympian like his father.
“It hasn’t been easy so far,” he says. In addition to the issue with his knee, he’s had both back and shoulder problems. “Fortunately,” he says, “I’ve had Jim Maloney helping me every step along the way.”
Maloney, a physical therapist at Baystate Rehabilitation Care, says Peter has faced many challenges in his young career, and not just from the other competing gymnasts.
“When you’re young, you have to deal with the effects of growth on your body. It can be easier to get hurt and harder to heal,” says Maloney. “There’s also the emotional component. While you’re trying to rehab, you’re away from your friends. You’re not able to compete. It’s hard.”
Peter is tough, according to Maloney. “He’s always been consistent in his approach to getting better. And he pays close attention to what he’s being asked to do.”
Partners in Care
Maloney describes the relationship between the physical therapist and patient as a partnership. The two are in this together. He says this might be the most important reason for a patient to seek out a physical therapy program in the first place.
There is a significant difference, Maloney says, between rehabbing on your own and rehabbing right. Baystate Rehabilitation Care offers highly trained physical therapists, access to sports medicine doctors, and the latest equipment.
“We provide one-to-one care,” Maloney says. “That way we can pay close attention to our shared goals, keep the lines of communication open, and stay on track to produce the best results possible.”
A good physical therapist is also watching out for the future of his patient. “Jim figures out the best ways to keep my body in tune,” Peter Daggett says. “He’s always trying to come up with the best way to prepare me for the next competition.”
Maloney says with Peter, as with many of his patients, he needs to perform a kind of balancing act. “I want to help them get back to competing, but I want them to be safe. I don’t want to see them undo all the hard work.”
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 413-794-1600.