Meet 3D Sports Medicine’s “Patient Spotlight” of the month… US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Harold Ward, better known around town as Tom Ward!
This local legend, who served our country in the US Marines for 22 years, has had quite the run in the recreational athletic world! (Pun intended) Tom began running as a teen and competed while attending college at the Citadel. At that time he ran the 3-Mile race distance in 15:40, and clocked his 2-Mile race at 9:45. But Tom considers his BEST RACE EVER to be the 1974 Boston Marathon where he finished just 84th overall with a time of 2:42:40. Apparently, Tom did all types of running well… sprints and short races as well as the long hauls! But Tom has never been ready to hang up his laces.
In November of last year, at the age of 79, he was competing in the Space Coast Classic. He was about 3 miles into the 15-mile race when he felt he had “no power in the leg”. This would be the first and only race Tom didn’t finish. A trip to the Emergency room at Viera Hospital led him to Dr. David Dominguez, Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon. He followed up with an MRI that showed a torn meniscus along with osteoarthritis. Dr. Dominguez recommended surgery to the repair the torn meniscus.
His surgery was performed on December 21, 2015. Within two months Tom was back on the road. He has never been a stranger to determination and perseverance and with the swift and expert help of Dr. D, Tom was able to get back to his running, biking, and swimming, as well as his service to our community. Straight from Tom, “Dr. Dominguez spends time with you. Instead of treating me like a 79-year-old, he treated me like an athlete.” This is one of the things he loved most about his treatment.
Tom enjoys volunteering for St. Francis Hospice, bringing meals and therapy dogs to patients all around town. He is looking forward to his return to Triathlon’s at this years Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Tri at the young age of 80!!! When asking him the best advice he can give someone his answer was, “Stay active and get your annual physicals.” Here’s wishing Tom many more miles of injury-free sports fun and community service! Go Get ‘Em Tom!!!!