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Piedmont Athens Specialist Helps US Para Archer Stay on Track for 2024 Games

Athens, Ga. (November 30, 2023) — The holidays are approaching, but for archery coach, three-time United States para archery world championship team member, and world record holder Erev King (56), that doesn’t mean there will be a break in her training. King competes on an international level, and not shooting her bow for three days can make a huge difference in her accuracy, so when she learned she would need a total hysterectomy, she was concerned that her competition days would be over. But, working with Piedmont Athens Regional Gynecological Oncologist Benjamin Wilson, M.D., King and Dr. Wilson developed a plan that would give her the greatest chance at returning to competition with the least number of complications.

King has advanced primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and uses a wheelchair. While training for the world championships at the Olympic and Paralympic training facilities, she developed what she thought was a urinary tract infection. After seeing her physician, she learned it was a much more serious issue and was referred to Dr. Wilson, who is the only gynecological oncologist in Athens, Georgia, who recommended surgery.

“Dr. Wilson got me in quickly, within a week, and was very easy to work with,” said King. “He listened to my concerns about being under anesthesia for too long and for not being able to shoot my bow for weeks and weeks. He respected my concerns and took the time to address every single one.”

King elected to have the surgery done robotically. Dr. Wilson received advanced robotic training during his fellowship and is one of the highest-volume robotic surgeons at Piedmont Athens Regional. King was also adamant that she not be given any narcotic pain medicine following surgery since she was still in the competition window and did not want to run afoul of the anti-doping rules. Since the surgery was being done robotically and was, therefore, less invasive, Dr. Wilson was able to manage King’s pain without using narcotics.

“The first week after my surgery, I was a little uncomfortable. The second week was better, and after that, any discomfort was less and less,” said King. “Dr. Wilson continued to follow up with me to make sure I was okay and that I was handling any pain from the surgery well. He was hands-on in monitoring my recovery, not only to make sure I was healing properly but also to assess when he thought it would be safe for me to start shooting my bow again.”

King was cleared around the six-week mark and began her training again. Her goal is to represent the U.S.A. as a two-sport athlete at both the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris and the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. As a longtime dressage rider, King recently began training in para-dressage and hopes to qualify for the Paralympic dressage and archery teams over the next four years.

“When you put on a United States jersey, there’s a lot of weight to it. You don’t just compete for yourself; you compete for your country,” shared King.

King knows that whether she reaches the podium or not, she’ll have a special fan for life in Dr. Wilson, and vice versa.


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