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Global May 13, 2016

Through the wringer: UVa’s Hoen-Beck recounts near-death experience

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Youth soccer observers in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area are likely to be familiar with Mia Hoen-Beck and/or her twin brother Liam, both talented players who rose through the local scene and earned spots at NCAA Division I programs.

But many of us may not be aware of the nightmarish experience Mia has weathered in her college career to date.

A product of McLean Youth Soccer, the 2015 graduate of James Madison High School was recruited to join Steve Swanson‘s blue-chip program at the University of Virginia, only to find herself sidelined by the second serious knee injury of her playing career — then hospitalized and nearly killed by a severe allergic reaction to medication administered after reconstructive surgery on her left knee.

Hoen-Beck spent three weeks at the UVa Medical Center, losing nearly 30 pounds and drawing comparisons to cancer patients as her body’s immune system reeled.

“I’ve been through the wringer,” she said.

Jeff White profiled the 19-year-old’s fight for her life in a feature story on the UVA athletics website this week, and it makes for unforgettable reading.

“She looked like she was 10 years old when she left [the hospital],” said her mother, Andrea Beck.

Hoen-Beck persevered through the ordeal and has at last made a gradual return to the playing field, and is scheduled to regain full speed in time for the 2016 season this fall.

“She has an impressive internal makeup,” Swanson said. “She never once felt sorry for herself.

“That was a tough thing, just to see her withering away. And so when you see someone like that, and they’re slowly deteriorating in front of your eyes, it’s scary and you just want to know what’s going on and how can you help and how do they figure this out.”

+READ the full story here

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