Here is How You Helped John Land Back on His Feet

John G., a 19-year-old student, injured his ankle while wrestling in January, 2016. Thinking his injury would improve on its own, he didn’t seek treatment. After hobbling around for months, his mother made an appointment for John to see Dr. Karen Latimer, a volunteer physician at BVMI. 


Dr. Latimer ordered an X-ray of the ankle and then referred John to Dr. Peter Carbonara, a volunteer orthopedist who comes to BVMI a few times a month.  When Dr. Carbonara pulled up John’s X-ray, he invited Adonis Castillo, a volunteer interpreter and recent medical school graduate, to review it with him.


He diagnosed a ligament injury, and advised John to wear an ankle support.  He reassured him and his mother that he will improve with time and a return visit was scheduled in two months.

Adonis says, “Dr. Carbonara told me that, since he only had an X-ray and not an MRI, there are certain maneuvers a physician can use to help diagnose an injury without actually needing an MRI. This is not something I was taught in medical school, so it’s great to have the opportunity to work and learn from an experienced physician.”

For his part, Dr. Carbonara is grateful to be at BVMI not only as a physician but also as a mentor to younger volunteers like Adonis.  “Being at BVMI is one of the best parts of my week. Working with patients like John is so important and having the opportunity to mentor the next generation of physicians – Adonis included – is one of the many reasons I love being here.”