Emerge Magazine 2017

Star football player recovered from injury-related depression

In his final year of high school football, Ryan Correia suffered a serious injury to his shoulder. It was so severe that he required surgery to have five titanium pins placed into his shoulder to hold it in place. The 22 year-old fullback for the University of Toronto admits during the rehab process he fell into a minor depression.

Correia’s injury came at a time when he was at the peak of his athletic career and it took him almost a full year to fully recover from the injuries and surgery. He admits there were moments when he considered giving up on his football dream.

“It was the hardest thing I had ever been through,” Correia said. “The process was mentally and physically exhausting. It puts a toll on your body while rehabbing, but also trying to balance life and emotions. It’s very easy to get lost in your thoughts and think that you may never play again.”

He says it took almost an entire season to begin feeling like his old self. He came out of high school as one of the top recruits in Canadian football and received scholarship offers from many schools across the country before deciding to play for U of T.

“The depression lingered with me through the entire season as I rehabbed and I didn’t start to feel better until I started receiving my offers again,” Correia said. “It just ensured that teams still saw my value and that I was capable of earning my scholarship back, solidifying that my hard work and recovery paid off.”

Correia attributes his recovery to those closest to him; he says he couldn’t have done it without their love and support.

“My mother definitely helped me through it all. She was someone to lean on and reassure me that I’ll be able to play again and get back to a higher level,” he said. “I also had a lot of support from my coaches and friends. They were always there for me to lean on and kept my mind off of being injured.”

Correia’s advice to anyone going through a similar situation is to talk about it with those closest to you, and to find something that can help you escape.

“Ultimately, look to confide in others because often times people understand what you are going through and are willing to help,” he said. “Just always remember that vocalizing your frustrations are better than letting it linger and eat at you, things will always get better.”

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Joseph Quintanilha

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Joseph Quintanilha is an aspiring sports journalist, who just really wants to be famous.

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