22 Feb Ally Boynton | Trailblazer Tales
“I love swimming! I love to race! I was not about to give that up!”
Ally Boynton in her hospital bed
“I never even thought about quitting while I was in the hospital! I knew whatever happened I would be able to get back in the water!” Those were the words and the mindset of Utah Tech Sophomore swimmer Ally Boynton. Two years ago as she found herself in a hospital bed in Salt Lake City, during her senior year at Woods Cross.
I had some arm pain, didn’t really know what it was. My arm started turning purple. Didn’t know what it was. They (doctors) noticed that it was swelling and purple, diagnosed me with a blood clot, they had the blood clot taken out and I was diagnosed with “Padgett Shroder Syndrome” Boynton explained as she was getting ready to swim in the Wac Championships. Padgett Shroder Syndrome in very basic explanation is where the first rib is compressing on the main vein running from your arm to heart which causes a blood clot. Doctors removed one of Ally’s ribs so they could get to the blood clot. For a moment, graduating from high school and heading to St. George with a Swimming scholarship, were put on hold as she recovered, but then, swimming became an afterthought, fighting for her life became her priority!
Four days later Ally had complications with the medicine she was receiving and started to bleed internally.
“I lost about two liters of blood and went into surgery to get all the blood out of my chest cavity!” Ally said. Then, it would get worse. Her left lung collapsed! “Good thing I’m a swimmer, as I have a strong right lung,” she said with a smile. After 13 days in the hospital, four nights in the ICU, Ally finally went home. The next four months was spent resting, not being able to move her arm, and of course, NO swimming.
Then in August of 2021, Ally head to St. George to begin swimming for Utah Tech. “It was scary to start when I had been out of the water for so long.” Boynton said. Ally had her first official swim meet 2 months later. “I did pretty good there. As good as I could.” Ally said.
Then within a month from her return to the pool, it happened again! The first rib on the right side broke. So once again, Ally Boynton’s love for swimming, had to be put on hold. After another three weeks of not being able to move the other arm, Ally was back in the pool, and this time not a removal of one rib and the breaking of another rib would stop her from the “moment of glory” she had dreamed about ever since she was a kid. Boynton broke three school records. “That was an accomplishment, really cool! It was emotional for me being back in the water, not knowing if I would even be able to swim at this point and to break those records and get my personal best times, it was the best I could ask for!” Ally proclaimed with an even bigger smile.
Now, as Ally and her Trailblazers teammates are in Texas competing int he Wac Championships, Boynton looks back on what she has gone through and how she has made it all the way back to finish 2nd in the WAC ‘s regular season in the 200 backstroke.
“My parents have told me and I have told myself that what’s happened is a miracle because when I was in the hospital, it was very scary.” Boynton said.
To most of us, Ally Boynton’s return to the pool is nothing short of a miracle. For Ally, it was all a matter of her mindset that wouldn’t let herself quit. “I love swimming! I love to race! I was not about to give that up!