John Thayer Voltz “Comeback Award” | News
Montgomery, AL- Jackson Hospital, in conjunction with Alabama Orthopaedic Specialists and Rehab Associates will present the first “John Thayer Voltz Comeback Award” to two local high school athletes. The award presentation will take place Thursday, June 21 at 2pm in the lobby of Jackson Hospital.
John Thayer Voltz was a local athlete in Montgomery back in the 1990’s. He was a three sport standout for Montgomery Academy playing football, basketball, and baseball. In 2006, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), fighting a courageous battle for six years. John Thayer passed away in May at the age of 39.
This award will be given annually in his memory to a male and a female athlete in the area who has shown the strength and willingness to battle against the odds to recover from a major injury and return to sports.
“Although John Thayer was diagnosed with ALS, he always stayed positive with his battle until his recent passing,” said Robert Kohn, area vice president for Rehab Associates. “He had a ‘never give up’ attitude, which has been seen in these two recipients as well. When recovering from an injury, it’s as mentally tough as it is physically, and this award signifies an athlete who has John Thayer’s mental toughness and the desire to overcome adversity.”
Erin Katz is a soccer player at Montgomery Academy (MA) who had ACL reconstruction in both knees. After rehab she returned to help her team win back-to-back state championships in soccer in 2011 and 2012 and was All Metro Player of the Year in 2011. Erin will play college soccer for Brown University next year.
Will Clemmons played football for Alabama Christian Academy, and had major shoulder and knee injuries. He received major reconstructive shoulder surgery after sustaining multiple shoulder dislocations, and also sustained a major knee injury when he tore his ACL, PCL, and MCL. He battled hard through physical therapy to recover fully from both injuries. Will plans to attend Troy University in the fall and will major in athletic training to become a physical therapist.
“Both of these outstanding athletes had not only one but two potentially career-threatening injuries, yet each showed the determination to persevere through surgical intervention and rigorous physical therapy to return to pre-injury form,” says Charles Hartzog, MD, Alabama Orthopaedic Specialists. “It was a pleasure to work with both.”