*UPDATE: Event Postponed* Hustle for a Cause Benefiting Isaac
*UPDATE 3/13: Event Postponed*
The health and safety of both guests and staff at the HAUS is our biggest priority. Therefore, our Sunday, March 22nd Hustle for a Cause event is postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. All those signed up for this event will be refunded, and can re-purchase their spot once the new date is announced. Please give us a call at 952-456-7650 if you have any questions. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Sometimes things go wrong.
One day while playing Division 1 soccer, things went wrong for Isaac “Goose” Friendt.
“When I planted to hit my volley, the turf underneath me gave out, resulting in my knee hyper-extending,” Friendt said. “I was informed about 2 weeks later that I had torn my PCL, and a few things in what is called the posterolateral corner of my knee.”
Isaac had the surgery done in Chicago.
“This is a very serious knee surgery,” Friendt said. “I was told it looked more like my knee had been through a motorcycle accident than a soccer injury.”
The injury was bad enough on its own. But sometimes things go wrong.
“I had the surgery in Chicago, then headed home to Minnesota,” Friendt said. “Originally, I planned on only staying about a week, to work with Jill Monson (she is amazing) from TCO.”
But it wasn’t going to be that easy.
“I had never been in this much pain in my life,” Friendt said. “I got back to PT the next week, and they immediately sent me up to see the physician. He wanted to cross off the possibility of compartment syndrome because it is incredibly severe, but no one had ever seen it occur in a leg more than a few days after an initial surgery; it had been 10 days. I was sent to the ER.”
Things proceeded to get worse.
“I was greeted by two surgical teams who explained I needed to be sent into surgery immediately,” Friendt said. “My popliteus artery had been leaking into my leg and caused severe, acute compartment syndrome. Our worst nightmares had come to life, with a tenacity about a thousand times worse than we could have imagined. My parents were told in that moment, as they put me under and sent me off to surgery, the end result would likely be amputation of the leg.”
The threat of amputation almost didn’t seem real, certainly not for a super-fit, extremely-talented college athlete. But the fight was on.
“I spent two weeks in the hospital, undergoing a surgery about every other day, adding up to seven total surgeries,” Friendt said. “The night before my last surgery, my dad broke the news to me that not only was there the possibility of amputation, but that it was now the recommended route.”
So much was hanging in the balance.
“I wanted to keep my leg, and try to fight against the odds, even if it was unlikely,” Friendt said. “The doctors informed me that, if in a few weeks we didn’t see any progress, they would still have to amputate my leg. But I was ready to fight.”
Isaac has been fighting ever since. Physically, mentally, and emotionally fighting to get back a semblance of normalcy.
“I spent the first two months going to physical therapy five days a week at TCO,” Friendt said. “I eventually got that calf compartment functioning, and learned to flex my foot down again. This meant that with an AFO (ankle foot orthotic), I would be able to relearn how to walk.”
One day you’re lining up for a Division 1 soccer game. The next, you’re going to physical therapy five days a week to relearn how to walk. It takes bravery and strength beyond what most of us will be asked to display.
“Learning to walk all over again is something I still haven’t mastered three months later,” Friendt said. “We are also working on strengthening my legs again. Muscles need rebuilding and reteaching. Currently, I have a massive focus on re-activating the other compartment in my calf. It has woken up, and is so important because it means I can get the next surgery I am hoping to have.”
In the face of this all, what keeps Isaac going?
“I have never wanted to quit,” Friendt said. “My physical therapist, Jill Monson, has bent over backwards to help me. She has come in on her days off, and been nothing short of a miracle for me. Her effort and constant positive attitude has kept me going. I cannot begin to describe my gratitude toward her and TCO for what they have done for me. Without them, I would not be where I am today.”
So where does Isaac aim to be in a year?
“I hope to be living a much more normal life,” Friendt said. “I intend to work my butt off, and shatter all expectations along the way.”