UAMS surgeon helps local runner get back on his feet

KATV photo

A local man with a love for running found himself in a scary situation after a painful condition left him unable to run and at one point unable to walk.

Ted Holder says it's part of his identity.

Running competitively is something he's been doing nearly eight years.

"My fastest marathon time has been three hours and 27 minutes," Holder said.

Holder qualified for both the New York and Boston marathons, but last summer a health scare put his life-long dreams in question.

"It was not just a little pain, it was horrible," he said. "I mean, it was really bad."

At first, Holder thought it was just a minor leg injury.

But the pain quickly became excruciating.

"I definitely couldn’t run because I just about couldn’t walk," he said. "It was hard to stand up, sit down, anything."

That's when the runner sought medical attention, and UAMS surgeon Samuel Overley found a fractured disk in the runner's back.

"That piece of disk was lodged right in the wrong place and was pinching in the nerve root as it was exiting of the spinal canal," Overley said.

Overley performed an out-patient surgery that had the runner back up on his feet almost immediately.

"When I got off the recovery table, I could stand up and couldn't believe it," Holder said.

Now the runner says he's ready to get back to training and his community of support.

"I'm just really happy to be back," Holder said. "I love running, all of the community and the great people are in it."

Holder says he is planning to run the Little Rock Half Marathon next month to prepare him for the Boston Marathon in April.

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