Isaiah's Story

Local High School Athlete Sidelined by Knee Injury Receives NFL Care

For 15-year-old Mentor High School sophomore Isaiah Gullick, football is a way of life; he dreams of playing in the NFL. At the beginning of his eighth-grade year, the running back was forced to the sidelines after being hit in the knee while returning a punt. An MRI indicated that Isaiah had a severely torn lateral meniscus.

Luckily, he was an excellent candidate for a meniscus transplant, a procedure that had been successfully performed numerous times by Michael Salata, MD, University Hospitals Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Salata is an associate orthopaedic surgeon for the Cleveland Browns and he, along with his partners James Voos, MD and Sean Cupp, MD, treat Browns players when injuries occur.

“Knowing that I was operated on by the same doctor who helps to care for the Cleveland Browns players makes me feel special – almost like I was an NFL player,” said Isaiah.

Isaiah’s lateral meniscus transplant took place at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and was a complete success. With the help of UH physical therapist Matt Short, Isaiah recovered in time to join his teammates for his sophomore season. He was a starter on the junior varsity team, but often had the opportunity to play at the varsity level and even scored a touchdown.

Isaiah’s mother, Teala Mitchell, is very grateful for the care provided to her son, saying “I can’t thank Dr. Salata and UH enough for enabling Isaiah to continue with his dream.”

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