Dr. Guyer Patient Testimonial

At just thirteen years old, Whittnie Merlau, a patient of Dr. Aaron Guyer, began her long journey of surgeries, hospital stays and recovery. Read Whittnie's story below of how a child who was once terrified of doctors has now undergone five surgeries, overcome many physical and mental hurdles and even decided to get a tattoo in honor of Dr Guyer! Thank you Whittnie for sharing you story!

"When I was in the 7th grade, in October if 2011, I broke my ankle skating, and I headed to urgent care and this is where it all started. I was then referred to TOC and heading there on Monday morning and this was my first ever visit to TOC. I was 13 years old and I was scared and nervous and my parents were also freaked out. Dr. Guyer came into the casting room and explained everything that was happening and going to happen. I was scheduled to have surgery on my growth plate the next day at TMH at 7:30am. The surgery went well and a screw was then place in my ankle and this would start everything. There were times in my recovery that I would crutch into TOC and would be in just literal tears and Dr. Guyer and his team were always the ones to get me in good spirits and to keep on moving. After the surgery in October, I would start therapy and continue to strengthen to the best of my ability to prepare for the removal of the hardware in August of 2012. The removal of the hardware would put me at surgery #2. With the pain coming and going, in and out, Dr. Guyer and I sat down and made a plan to try and alleviate some of the pain. Throughout 2012 and early into 2013, we fought long and hard and he continued to encourage me to keep fighting through it all. In February of 2013, I was in an ATV accident with my sister which then caused me to be put in another cast, but thankfully no surgery, and back onto Dr. Guyer's radar. After 3 gruesome months in a cast, I found my leg to be healing and I kept following up, in regular routine. In 2015, I started having pain in my ankle, so Dr. Guyer suggested that we try injections, and new braces to see if any of those would take the stress off of my ankle, and unfortunately, they were unsuccessful. So in February of 2016, exactly three years after my ATV accident, I was set to have surgery again, to remove scar tissue, and this would hopefully be the one that "should do the trick". I set out to become stronger than ever over time and to each of our dismay. we missed the issue again. I started to lose more faith in myself than anything. I felt that I wasn't rehabbing properly and that I wasn't getting strong enough, so I went back into Dr. Guyer's care again, and we started from scratch. We did a new panel of X-Rays, a new MRI, looking deeper, and at one point, we even teamed up with Dr. Borom to search for an answer, and then we decided that getting a CT scan could potentially be beneficial. And sure enough, that CT scan, showed us answers and unanswered prayers. It showed a slight whole in my tibia and was causing all of the pain for the last few years. So in November of 2017, I walked into the Outpatient Surgery Center at TOC and rolled out in a wheelchair with a road of recovery ahead of me. "Left ankle arthroscopic extensive debridement and micro-fracture tibia osteochondral dissecans with possible Biocartilage application" these are the 14 words that helped me walk pain free again. I worked hard alongside Dr. Guyer and the Base Physical Therapy Team to gain strength in my left leg and to get to be a 19 year old again. Fifteen months post my fourth surgery, I am back and pain free. The fact the Dr. Guyer believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He showed me grace when I walked holes in my cast, and most notably, showed me that doctors want to help and I would be lying if I didn't tell you that Dr. Guyer is the main reason that I want to be a doctor and pursue and enjoy a life, that supports people and helps people from age 13 to age 21."

About the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic and its Foundation

For over 35 years, TOC has provided the highest quality orthopedic and sports medicine care in North Florida and South Georgia.  TOC staff include 27 physicians with more than 300 employees, including PA’s, ARNP’s, RN’s, Certified Athletic Trainers, Certified Orthotics and an extensive support team of medical and technical assistants.  TOC provides a comprehensive Sports Medicine Program, a Regional Concussion Center, MRI services, an Orthotics and Prosthetics Division, Physical Therapy and an Outpatient Surgery Center.

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