Loy Norrix sophomore’s experience of spinal surgery


Jessica Kanipe recovering from surgery.

Dajanique McPherson, Guest Writer

Sophomore Jessica Kanipe was like an every other student in Loy Norrix. She was active, attended gymnastics, and even spent time with both her friends and family.  Besides spending time with her family, Kanipe goes out with her friends, spending time mostly in the mall besides staying home. 

Gymnastics teaches Kanipe everything from doing rolls and jumping to having speed and strength. Although, last year as a freshman, she had a problem with her back, mostly her spine. Through the pain and struggle with her spine, she was later taken to the hospital for spinal refusion surgery.

In the article,Spinal Fusion,“written by the Mayo Clinic Staff, it talks about the importance of information on spinal surgery, like the risks and how to prepare for the surgery. 

“In selected cases, some surgeons use a synthetic substance instead of bone grafts. These synthetic substances help promote bone growth and speed the fusion of the vertebrae,” Mayo Clinic staff described.

Throughout the process from Kanipe’s home to the hospital, she had to say goodbye to her family, but before leaving she saw the fear and nervousness painted on her parents’ faces. The feeling her parents showed was confusing to her. Kanipe felt worried and nervous about the unknown.

When she arrived at the hospital, she saw many things, from doctors to sick people who were surrounded by their families and friends. The environment in the hospital made Jessica feel sad. However, Kanipe didn’t feel safe being in the hospital, it scared her. She was surrounded by doctors and machines that were all too much for her. 

Kanipe said, “The hospital looked scary and it had a lot of things, like machines and sick people. I could even hear my own heart rate machine.”  Jessica continued, “but it was clean, it smelled clean, and it was nice.” 

Kanipe didn’t care about surgery or being in the hospital besides feeling nothing but being really upset about something really important to her. Her feelings didn’t sink in. The doctors tried to calm her nerves about the surgery. Jessica knew that going through the surgery would mean leaving gymnastics and even leaving her friends.

 “I felt nothing besides being upset about not doing gymnastics,” Kanipe said knowing this would be one result of her surgery.  

After the surgery, Kanipe was gifted with a big surprise. Her family came to her with their support. Her parents spent the night with her and then later the rest of her family arrived and welcomed her with silliness, gifts and even love.

“My family support boosted my confidence to continue on,” Kanipe said. 

During the process of her surgery and after, it opened her eyes to the world around her and she learned that anything could happen and it could affect her.  Thanks to her family’s support, Kanipe has the confidence to step out into the world.