At a brawny 6 feet 3 inches tall and 220 pounds, 15-year-old Chaz Chambliss is unmistakably an athlete. He has played baseball and basketball, run track, and is thinking about adding shotput and discus to the mix, but his favorite sport has always been his first sport: football.
“He started when he was 5. People thought we were crazy,” his mom, Angela, said. “But you can tell when he plays football, that’s just his love.”
Like many active young kids, Chaz incurred plenty of injuries through the years, whether on the playground or the playing field. He had been coming to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta since he broke his arm on the monkey bars as a preschooler, so when he developed a strain on his rotator cuff while playing baseball in middle school, his mom knew exactly where to take him.
At the Children’s Sports Medicine Program, Chaz met with Colleen Crosby, who helped him correct his throwing motion and rehabilitate his shoulder. He worked with Colleen all summer to make sure he was ready to return to the gridiron. “She knew he was a football guy, so she knew she had to get him right before the fall,” Angela said.
After that football season, the injuries kept coming. He broke a bone in his foot during a baseball conditioning exercise. He discovered a cyst on his leg that required surgery. Then, in February of his eighth grade year during basketball season, Chaz was attending a football training session and realized he was in pain, finding it difficult to straighten up. It turned out he had a stress fracture in his spine.