Jamie Luna (Montclair, NJ)
When your passion for a sport starts when you are five years old and eventually defines the course of your education, an injury is not something that is taken lightly.
Ever since Jamie Luna was just five years old, she knew that cheerleading would be her biggest passion. By ten years old, she began competing and by the time she was 15 she knew that Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus, New Jersey would be her school of choice because of its ‘outstanding cheerleading program.’ As a freshman, she made the cheer team and had a great experience as a ‘flyer’ (the girl on top of the pyramids.) By her sophomore year, she was ready to prove to her coach that she had what it took to succeed at all of the varying levels of cheering.
However, in August 2005, she had thought the goals she had set for herself, would be taken away. As she was flying a stunt, the girls underneath backed out which made her hyper extend her arm to catch herself, rather than they catch her. Unfortunately, her arm was broke in three parts and her elbow shattered. As she entered the hospital, all she could think of was that her season could be over.
She was then greeted by Dr. Longobardi and as scared as she was, she felt positive about the surgery because of how Dr. Longobardi assured her that everything would be “OK.” Dr. Longobardi performed two surgeries on her arm. Despite “many months of physical therapy, many visits to Dr. Longobardi’s office, and many months wearing a mobile cast!” she was released by Dr. Longobardi in December 2005 to gradually ease back in competing.
The thought of ever finishing the season was far from her mind; however, Jamie notes, “with a Doctor so passionate and knowledgeable about what he does, your personal goals can be met.”
Jamie ended up flying, tumbling, and winning the National Title that season in Orlando, FL. Throughout the remainder of high school, there were no further complications with her elbow and she went on to compete in different states.
Presently, Jamie is a sophomore French major at Montclair State University, and is still cheerleading! And as Jamie notes, “From this experience I've learned whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I also believe that when people care about their occupation like Dr. Longobardi, recovering for a patient is easy!“