Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Inspiring Story of Casey Evans-Driscoll

Casey Evans-Driscoll was sitting there working the scorer’s table all day at Saturday’s USJN New England SummerFest. She was smiling and cheering on her Crusader AAU teammates. You would have never guessed that just three weeks ago she underwent complicated surgery on her skull and just one week ago she had 100 stitches removed from her head.

“I feel great” said Evans-Driscoll with a smile. “I just can’t wait to get back on the court.”

Evans-Driscoll is an incoming sophomore forward for the Londonderry High girls basketball team, and this surgery is just the latest obstacle she has had to overcome in her pursuit to play college basketball.

“I was born with Craniosynostosis” explained Evans-Driscoll. “Basically the plates of my skull were being fused together before I was born. I had my first surgery when I was six months old and then another one when I was two years old.”

Evans-Driscoll was a starter and key player as a freshman this past winter for a Londonderry team that went 19-3 and was the Division I runner-up. Her success on the basketball court is truly remarkable considering everything she has been through.

“I had to wait for a year to have this surgery” Evans-Driscoll explained. “In the meantime I was prone to concussions and was constantly having migraines. Every game last season I had one or two headaches.”

Yet she persevered and was one of state’s top inside scorers and rebounders as a freshman. She now hopes that those headaches will go away following her successful surgery last month.

However, as a result of her multiple head surgeries at a young age she also developed problems with her eyesight. Casey was diagnosed with left Hypotropia (left eye turned downward) and diplopia, which is a rare visual condition where a person sees double and at a 90-degree angle. She was given a custom pair of glasses so she specially designed prisms in them to redirect the information to her brain and help her to see normally. When she’s on the court she wears custom goggles rather than glasses to protect against them breaking.

“Next year I will need another surgery” said Evans-Driscoll. It will be eye surgery, to repair my double-vision.”

Those weren’t the only obstacles this courageous young lady has had to overcome.
“I also suffer from short-term and long-term memory loss and have learning disabilities” continued Evans-Driscoll.

According to her mother Christen, all of these issues made the first few years of her life very difficult. They were constantly in and out of doctors’ offices, scheduling follow-up appointments, getting new glasses and meeting with teachers.

Through everything, basketball has been her outlet. She instantly fell in love with the game and all growing up she has been one of the area’s best players in her age group. Casey is a very aggressive player plays hard and has a great work ethic on the court. Not only did she have a big freshman season for the Lancers, but she has continued that success on the AAU circuit, being named to the Gym Rat Challenge All-Tournament Team for the second year in a row.

"We are so happy that Casey's surgery is progressing well” said NE Crusaders CEO Mike Collins. “And while we are all tempted to rush her back because she looks so good, we talked and decided it was the right thing to shut her down for the rest of the AAU season. Her health is our number one priority.”

Casey’s surgery took place on June 21 at the Boston Children’s Hospital. After undergoing a complicated surgery on the skull resulting in 100 stitches, it is understandable that she would have to be sidelined from basketball activities.

“In four more weeks I’ll be able to play again” beamed Evans-Driscoll. “I can’t wait for the high school season to start back up. I will also be playing volleyball for Londonderry in the fall.”

Every now and then a story about a high school athlete comes along that is truly inspiring – Casey Evans-Driscoll is one of those stories. Every time she steps on the court and dominates opponents it is a miracle - a person with her medical conditions simply shouldn't be this good at sports but she is! With every rebound she grabs, with every shot she makes and with every smile she flashes she is an inspiration to all.

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