Ray Bell, 55, of River Forest, IL, is the owner of a Chicago area printing business, a husband of twenty-eight years, the father of two daughters and a competitive athlete.
Although Ray did not start competing until his mid-forties, he now cycles approximately 4,000 miles per year, in addition to swimming and running regularly. He recently placed in the top third in a Wisconsin Ironman, was a top ten finisher in his age group in the Chicago (Olympic distance) Triathlon and completed both a half and full marathon.
Ray currently trains with the Lake and Harlem Cycling Group in Oak Park and believes the strenuous exercise is both physically and mentally energizing. He also notices his thoughts are clearer and more focused after a workout.
However, after ten years of success and excellent health, Ray never expected a recreational sport injury to take him out of competition.
In the summer of 2013, Ray was water skiing near his Michigan lake home when he fell and injured his hamstring. He remembers being pulled forward and somersaulting underwater with his ski extended. He surfaced in great pain. Fearing the worst, he was anxious to get to a good doctor, so he immediately drove several hours back to Chicago.
Ray went to see sports medicine physician Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) who, after a thorough exam, confirmed that he had completely detached two hamstrings tendons. He referred Ray to Dr. Shane Nho, also a sports medicine physician and surgeon at MOR. Dr. Nho recommended immediate surgery.
After a successful operation, Ray completed six months of physical therapy with an Athletico physical therapist. Dr. Nho was pleased with the outcome and explains, “He was in great shape overall and was very diligent with his rehab. Both of these contributed to his great outcome.” In fact, Ray’s recovery has exceeded both his and Dr. Nho’s expectations.
Less than a year after surgery, Ray enjoyed a cycling challenge starting in Lyon, France which finished on top of L’Alpe d’Huez in the central French Alps regularly used in the Tour de France. This ride involved a five-day trip spanning three hundred miles, ascending 30,000 feet.
Ray realized his goal to recover fully from his injury to continue competing. He is grateful to Dr. Nho who was able to successfully get him back doing what he loves.