During his time as a fan favorite on the Palmdale Falcons high school football team, John Ward Jr. chalked up enough winning moves to fill both defensive and offensive highlight reels. Chasing down tackles, rushing for yardage and stopping the run were all in a day’s work for this varsity standout. But on the night he got injured on the field, quick timing of a different sort was in the game plan.
Ward was tackled during a Friday night game and he knew right away that something was wrong. The pain in his ankle had him fearing the worst. He was helped off the field and, after the final play, his mother took him to the Emergency Department at PRMC. “I’m glad Palmdale Regional is in our neighborhood,” says Ward. The last thing this heavily-recruited hopeful needed was an injury to derail his dreams of playing college ball.
The injured athlete was in the right place for swift care. The ED at Palmdale Regional, the largest in the Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys, cared for more than 71,000 patients in 2018. This busy 35-bed department is designed for quicker treatments and reduced wait times. It boasts a special waiting area for those patients with non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses who still need urgent medical care and a quick triage area for rapid assessment of each patient’s condition.
It was Ward’s first time in Palmdale’s busy ED. He was seen within 10 minutes and X-rays were taken quickly. The results came back and showed no fracture, but they did show a high ankle sprain. “The care that I got there was great,” says a now fully recovered Ward. He has since committed to playing with UCLA and his future as a Bruin looks bright.