Freshman Addison Blons competes in the freestyle during the Senior Night meet on Jan. 12. During middle school, Blons had surgery on both of her knees.
Freshman Addison Blons competes in the freestyle during the Senior Night meet on Jan. 12. During middle school, Blons had surgery on both of her knees.
Ana La Rosa Grillo

Blons’ determination evident after knee surgeries

It all started when Addison Blons was running in sixth grade. Her knee popped out of the socket. Blons went to a specialist and they said it would likely never happen again. In the same week it happened again. A year later, it happened for the third time. At that point they knew something was wrong.

During summer swim team with Bear Branch, freshman Addison Blons won the Heart of a the Bear Award. She is returning to swim after surgeries on both knees. Photo submitted by Addison Blons.

Each time it popped out, it sidelined and frustrated the competitive Blue Tide swimmer. 

“I didn’t know why it was happening to her but I knew that it would be a major setback to her swimming, which was very important to her,” said Amanda Blons, Addison’s mom.

Blons started swimming when she was only 8 years old, but her journey hasn’t been easy.

After three dislocations in her left knee, doctors noticed it had caused a chip in her kneecap. They decided it was time for surgery. Blons had her first surgery in November 2021.

The surgery and recovery forced Blons to quit her swim team. She also had to miss quite a few days of school, and she became depressed. 

Blons’s mom helped her recover. Amanda Blons even slept on Addison’s floor every night for about a month. Her mom helped motivate her to keep pushing through. 

“I reminded her that she was strong, and that this was just a bump in the road that would make her come out stronger on the other side,” Blons’ mom said.

Blons needed crutches for about one month and was out of school for about three weeks in total. 

After the surgery, the doctor said her other knee was fine. However, the right knee dislocated while Addison was moving a lunch table. Blons’ family decided not to waste anymore time. She had surgery on her other knee in February 2022. 

Finally, four weeks later, Blons was able to get back into the pool, but she wasn’t completely healed. 

“During summer league, she qualified for a top competition, and was the first person to ever compete without being able to dive off the block. She had to push off the wall because she wasn’t cleared yet,” Blons’ mom said.

The now varsity swimmer has seen success while swimming. Her best events are freestyle and backstroke. Blons recently got her 50 yard freestyle to 27 seconds, something she hadn’t done since her knee surgeries. 

 Blons is going to districts this year and hopes to go every year before she graduates.

“She’s just a hard worker, she does everything I ask, super polite,” swim coach John Dissinger said.

Blons still has pain from time-to-time in her knee and uses ice and takes medicine when in pain.

“It’s super important that she keeps the strength in her quad muscles up, because that’s what supports her knee,” Blons’ mom said. “The prognosis for the future is good, but she will likely need knee replacements as an adult.”

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