County Road 11 - Ed Abdella

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 3:09 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Just over a year ago, West Lauderdale High School history teacher Ed Abdella was in so much back pain that he could hardly walk or complete the simplest of chores. Amazingly, he’s now preparing for an ultra marathon cycling event that will take place in October.

Abdella spends a lot of time on his 14 pound ultra bike. I’m talking a lot of time. Over the last year, he’s averaged about 20 hours and between 300 and 400 miles per week for the upcoming Natchez Trace 444 where competitors will race the trace from Nashville to Natchez--non stop and no sleep. The odds of this happening were staggering just over a year ago for Abdella who was suffering from two herniated discs in his back. But that’s when Dr. Azhar Pasha stepped in and performed two X-ray guided treatments known as epidural steroid injections.

“I wasn’t going to get cut on or wasn’t going to have surgery, said Abdella. “At the time I was only 54 years old and he said no there’s another alternative. He said we can give you these steroid injections. I almost didn’t believe it but thank God I did because it changed my life. It saved my life.”

Abdella responded to the shots and started riding a bike for the first time since he actually rode competitively as a teenager. He also has a lot of support from a team of folks that include a physical therapist, a crew chief, two mechanics, a driver, a massage therapist and his son. His doctor also says the medical treatments are only part of the healing process.

“It is the holistic approach, said Dr. Axhar Pasha, Physician at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian. “I did my part with the injections but he then had to carry the water so to speak. He had to make all the lifestyle changes and I’m really proud of him.”

“The doctor told me that once and said wait until the very last possible minute where you can’t stand it anymore and nothing else works and then go ahead and get surgery. For people out there who say I can’t do this, you can.”

Ed Abdella, age 55 and with a new lease of life. Taking on an ultra cycling challenge and maybe inspiring others along the way. He will take part in the Natchez Trace 444 the first weekend of October.

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