Recovery for the goal

Rebecca Richnow works to be varsity goalie again

Story by Raelyn Albert, staff writer

Mistaking a sore throat for the flu may not be a big deal, but mistaking a double kidney infection with something as small as pulling a muscle may have severe consequences.

Hours before a tournament, junior Rebecca Richnow was rushed by her father to the hospital after shaking uncontrollably. Doctors told Richnow that she had only pulled a muscle. Despite her coach advising against it, she continued to be goalie for the Lady Tigers for the entire game.

“I felt fine after the game, but on the way back [home] I started to shake again. I couldn’t move,” Richnow said. “I had pulled muscles in my back before, but none ever made me shake so violently like that.”

One of Richnow’s friends, junior Devun Saveall, was by her side when she first got sick during the bus ride home.

“I found out she got sick two days before and [was] admitted to the hospital,” Saveall said. “We were on the bus and she was shaking and she couldn’t stop, she hurt so much that [her dad and I] had to pretty much carry her off the bus.”

After returning to her home, Richnow was rushed to the hospital again.

“My dad took me to the ER at St. Michael’s where the doctor told me, again, that it was a pulled muscle,” Richnow said. “No one was able to explain why I was shaking.”

It was only after having a 104 degree fever and a third ER visit that doctors found out what was wrong.

“They finally found the double kidney infection.” Richnow said. “As it turns out there were two different kinds of bacteria in both of my kidneys.”

Richnow stayed in the hospital for a week before being released to go home.

“When I came back I still wasn’t able to play, but I was so ready to get back in the goal,” Richnow said. “Then I learned that I had been unofficially replaced as goalie on the varsity soccer team.”

The coach replaced her with sophomore Chloe Pate, the JV goalie at the time.

“At first I was upset about playing with the junior varsity girls during the time when I was supposed to be playing with varsity, but I was reminded that I still had a great group of girls that I can call family to play with,” Richnow said.

With unconditional support from the team and coaches, Richnow continues to fight for her former position.

“I’ll admit that I’m a little more cautious when I’m in the goal now because I don’t want to hurt my kidneys by bruising them when I dive,” Richnow said. “[However], with my team beside me and our coach in front of me, I have all the support I need to continue to be the best goalie I can be.”