While most other Alabama students were traveling to the beach or other vacation destinations to start their spring break earlier this year, Sydney Boles was undergoing emergency surgery.
On March 9, the first day of Alabama’s spring break, the junior coxswain for the Crimson Tide rowing team went to practice in the morning and then napped for most of the day. She went to dinner with a couple of teammates, but she still felt tired.
Boles, from Maryville, Tennessee, thought she just had food poisoning, so she called her athletic trainer Macy Franklin at 2 a.m.
Franklin took Boles to the emergency room and was told she had adhesions, where scar tissue binds two tissues that aren’t normally joined.
The scar tissue that caused the problem for Boles was from a surgery she had when she was 7 years old from a brust appendix.
Her stepmom made the four-hour drive down to Tuscaloosa in the middle of the night to be there for the surgery.
After the surgery, she went home to recover, but she was still having problems.
“I started getting really sick again, and we realized that I needed a second one,” Boles said.
She had the second surgery when she was at home, but the issue wasn’t completely resolved, forcing her to go back for a third procedure. The last one had some complications, as she dealt with a couple of infections.
Close to the end of the summer, Boles and her family thought the problem had resurfaced and she would have to face a fourth surgery.
“We weren’t sure if I would be able to go back to school,” Boles said.
She passed all the medical tests at the end of July and was cleared to resume competitions. She competed in her first race at the Head of the Oklahoma race.
“I think she’s like any other person coming back from an injury,” coach Glenn Putyrae said. “I think there are times where she’s really on top of things, then there are times where its challenging. You take time away from anything and there is going to be an adjustment period. I definitely feel like she’s going through an adjustment period right now.”
Since she missed the entire spring season, Boles is treating this season as her comeback season.
“It’s just really good to be back,” Boles said. “I just want to be on it and doing my best.”