Nyme Manns was playing in Bowie State University’s first football game of the year in 2014 when he took a blow to his knee that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
It was the fourth quarter of the game. Nyme, a Baltimore native who started playing football his senior year of high school, had already scored three touchdowns.
Then he tore his left knee’s ACL, LCL, and posterolateral corner – three of the knee’s main ligaments.
“My life just flashed before my eyes,” recalls Nyme, a wide receiver.
Fortunately, there was someone on the field that day who helped him both physically and mentally.
Daniel Redziniak, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Anne Arundel Medical Center Orthopedics, and team doctor for the Bowie State University Bulldogs, assured Nyme that everything would be okay.
“He definitely eased my mind a little bit,” says Nyme, now 23 years old. “Of course, it was my first time ever having a tragic injury, he played a bigger role than just my doctor.”
Dr. Redziniak says Nyme’s injury was a devastating knee injury that could permanently sideline an athlete’s career. Before performing extensive reconstructive surgery on Nyme’s knee, he spent hours with Nyme’s family helping them understand the seriousness of the injury.
“It is important to keep the family involved,” he says.
Nyme suffered an injury that usually requires a minimum of nine months to a year of recovery –often the hardest part of the injury, Dr. Redziniak says.
Nyme was determined to return to the field, but he had a lot of work to do after his knee surgery. He relied on a strict regimen of physical therapy and workouts with his strength coach to get back into playing shape.
“It was like starting all over,” he says.
He says Dr. Redziniak was a source of comfort the entire time, sending him encouraging text messages and reminding him of his strength.
And Nyme learned to trust the process.
“Of course there were ups and downs. You’re coming from a reconstructive surgery,” he says. “I would definitely say just trust the process, trust in the doctors, and just pray.”
When Nyme returned to the field the following season, he was anxious, wondering constantly if he would re-injure his knee.
But he was also determined to play again, and kept urging his coach to put him back in the game.
That year was his most successful year as a Bulldog, Nyme recalls. He was named the fifth-ranked receiver in the country, and landed on the Black College Football Hall of Fame’s watch list, after breaking every record in Bowie State football history.
Dr. Redziniak praised Nyme’s determination. “He really was an amazing person to work with,” Dr. Redziniak says. “He was always outgoing and eager to show just how far ahead he was. He went above and beyond what was required of him.”
After he graduated, Nyme entered the 2017 NFL draft. Though he was not selected, he continues to work with other aspiring athletes as a personal trainer. He has also started a career in the cybersecurity field.
Three years after his injury, he’s grateful for the treatment he received from AAMC Orthopedics.
“I feel like my injury made me a better athlete and a stronger person,” he says.