Bucks County Herald

Quakertown Community High School graduate overcomes knee injuries



NOAH WOOD

Noah Wood turned the disappointment of two knee surgeries during his junior year of high school into a senior year of triumph.

Wood, who graduated from Quakertown Community High School in June and is headed to Ithaca College in the fall, underwent a pair of knee arthroscopies as a junior that derailed his hopes of making the PIAA wrestling championships that season.

His resolve, however, proved his determination as he returned to play football as a running back and linebacker, rushing for more than 1,000 yards as a senior, and then not only making the PIAA wrestling championships, but making it to the second day of the tournament.

St. Luke’s sports medicine team, part of St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care, helped Wood excel through his football and wrestling career so much that he is part of the QCHS Medical Pathways program with SLUHN and is looking to get into the medical field, possibly in orthopedics or cardiology.

Despite wrist injuries, a shoulder injury, the knee surgeries and a concussion, Wood excelled both on the field and in the classroom, as well as in the community, making him one of St. Luke’s Extraordinary Athletes.

“My major thing is playing sports and has been a part of my life ever since I was a young kid,” said Wood, who has a 4.1 GPA on a weighted grade scale. “It’s what I pride myself on, so I owed it to my friends and teammates to come back and play better than before. I always pull energy from the people around me to help me get through the tough times.”

Wood also pulls strength from his friend, a special needs student at Quakertown that he’s been paired up with since sophomore year as part of the high school’s Best Buddies club.

“He would come over to my house; we’d hang out and play video games, go bowling or out for ice cream,” Wood said. “It always feels good to be a friend for someone, to be there to talk to and brighten up their day.”

Wood found plenty of that same support from the sports medicine professionals at St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care, a team that included Quakertown athletic trainer Jerry Dancho, primary care sports medicine physicians Dr. Nicholas Crognale and Dr. Celestine Nnaeto, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregory Carolan.

“Noah is a great kid,” said Dancho, who had plenty of one-on-one time with Wood by giving initial on-field diagnoses while helping in post-injury and surgery recovery. “You think you have this tough-as-nails football player, and he’s great in school, National Honor Society, ridiculous GPA, Best Buddies, involved in everything. He works hard at everything he does, and he rehabbed hard to get back without letting it affect the other areas of his life.”

Carolan experienced that same kind of resolve from Wood.

“He didn’t want to think about what happened,” Carolan said. “He only wanted to think about what he could do to get back to a competitive level.”

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