“Drew just felt like a new person,” said Shelly. “He didn’t even know he had all that stuff going on inside him, and then, after the surgery, the difference it made was like night and day.”
As Dr. Little explained, this additional power was likely due to Drew’s new ability to build up his arm strength after the surgery with more blood flow and less nerve compression.
“He could never build up enough strength because he was always compromising the function with that tight space,” said Little.
“When we do the surgery, we’re just detaching the muscles that go from the neck to the ribs. We’re not affecting anything that goes to the shoulder. So all the muscles making the shoulder and the arm work are still normal and not detached.”
Little explained that other muscles in the chest would take up the slack for the detached scalene muscles. Also, Drew’s 11 other ribs, each with muscles between them, were unaffected by the surgery allowing him to breathe normally, even with heavy exercise.
Drew completed his physical therapy quickly and, by winter 2021, he was ready to resume throwing.
“I was ready to go straight from [physical therapy],” he said. “I picked up a football as soon as I left there and was ready to go for my senior season.”
Leading the Cooper Jaguars to a 7-4 record this past season, Drew threw more touchdowns, for more yards, with fewer interceptions and a higher completion percentage than during his sophomore year.
And his football days are not over. Drew recently signed his letter of intent to play football at Thomas More University next year.
He credits Cincinnati Children’s with making it possible.
“I’ve had a lot of improvements this year. And just my throwing motion feels entirely better,” said Drew. “It used to hurt to throw a football. And thanks to [Cincinnati] Children’s Hospital, that’s not the case anymore.”
(Published February 2022)