Patient Stories: A Huge Shock for an Ultramarathon Runner with Back Pain

Your Doctor Friends

Patient Stories: A Huge Shock for an Ultramarathon Runner with Back Pain

October 11, 2022

Patient Stories: A Huge Shock for an Ultramarathon Runner with Back Pain

While it’s obviously hugely beneficial to hear from the experts when it comes to specific medical problems, looking to the patient files for anecdotes and poignant stories is often equally powerful.

That’s why this episode of Your Doctor Friends is something a little different! Today, we welcome our first-ever patient guest, Jerry Cropsey, who originally visited Dr. Jeremy over five years ago with pain in his right shoulder blade.

As an ultramarathon runner who had suffered several orthopedic injuries over the years, Jerry was sure the source of his pain was musculoskeletal. However, despite several visits to his physical therapist and after undergoing various other treatments, nothing helped.

Today, Jerry shares his unexpected journey from ultramarathon to triple bypass surgery and back, thanks to the timely advice he received from his physicians and the information and support he received from organizations like the Ironheart Foundation, an online community for endurance athletes dealing with heart disease.

This remarkable case study highlights the importance of trusting your instincts, heeding your doctor’s advice (even if it seems strange at the time), and leaning on the support of a like-minded community.

To hear what Dr. Jeremy calls one of the most interesting patient stories he has heard as a physician, you won’t want to miss today’s episode!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The BACKstory behind Jerry’s shoulder blade pain (excuse the pun!)
  • An unexpected journey from chiropractor to cardiologist
  • The fear and uncertainty that accompanies a triple bypass surgery 
  • Support groups and resources for athletes affected by heart disease
  • Steps Jerry took to transition safely from heart surgery to 50K
  • How Jerry influenced his family members to get tested
  • Our key takeaways from Jerry’s story
  • The importance of trusting your gut and seeking a second opinion
  • Rapid fire: that first shower after surgery, Colorado weather, and more!

For heart disease education, support, and athletic inspiration, visit the Ironheart Foundation.

Looking to connect with individuals impacted by cardiac disease? Join the Ironheart Connect Facebook Group.

Watch HEART: Flatline to Finish Line for an unvarnished look at some of the struggles that athletes with heart conditions go through daily.

Find us at:


Email: [email protected] 

Call the DOCLINE on 312-380-5005 and leave us a message. We will listen and maybe even respond/play it on the show!

(Disclaimer: we will not answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional with any and all personal health questions.)

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