At 3:05 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, Mohonasen High School senior Nate Resila signed his swimming career over to Niagara University's Division I program, a feat that was only a dream two years ago when Resila was recovering from extensive spinal fusion surgery.
We are extremely thrilled for him, said mother Laurie Resila. "This is not just another story of a kid signing to a Division I school."
Resila, who has been a part of the combined Mohonasen- Schalmont varsity swim team since eighth grade, underwent surgery in the spring of 2007 to combat his scoliosis, which he has had since the age of 5. James Resila, Nate's father, said that without the surgery, his ribs would have caused damaged to his internal organs as his spine shifted.
The surgery removed one of Resila's ribs, fused together five of his vertebrae from the ninth thoracic vertebrae to the first lumbar vertebrae, and use the removed rib to create a paste to mold together vertebrae and the pencil-length titanium rod that was screwed in place, according to Nate's father.
"If he had not had the surgery, his ribs would have been spears into his chest," said his father. "Dr. [Allen] Carl did a phenomenal job, he's great and we're lucky to have him in the area."
The extensive procedure left Resila nearly immobilized, unable to roll over in bed, pick up items off the ground or compete as a member of the swim team.
By May of 2007, Resila was back in school at Mohonasen as a freshmen. By July of that year he was able to float on his back in a pool and began to undergo physical training from October of that year through March 2008. By April of his sophomore year, Resila was back in the pool, rebuilding his abilities as a gifted swimmer.