ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – In April of 2021, Ally Boynton was senior at Woods Cross High when at the state championship swimming meet at Utah Tech, she started to experience some arm pain.
“We really didn’t know what it was,” she said. “I got home and it started getting worse and worse over time. I showed up to the next practice and my arm started turning purple. So we knew something was wrong, but we didn’t know what it was.”
Ally had a blood clot and was rushed to the hospital in Salt Lake City.
“I was diagnosed with Paget-Schrotter Syndrome, which is when your first rib is compressing on your vein that runs from arm to you heart,” Boynton said. “That caused the blood clot.”
Ally had to have a rib removed. But there were complications from medications, and she had internal bleeding. Her chest cavity was filling up with blood, and her life was on the line.
“My left lung collapsed during that time,” she said. “It’s a good thing I’m a swimmer because I have a really strong right lung. They got it all taken care of. I ended up staying in the hospital for 13 days.”
Four months later, Ally was back in the pool, swimming for Utah Tech. This past season, she broke three school records, and earned five medals including one gold at the WAC Championships last week.
“It was emotional for me because it was back in the water, and I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to swim again,” Boynton said. “For me to go break those records and get personal best times was great. My parents have told me and I’ve told myself that what has happened is a miracle just because when I was in the hospital, it was very scary.”
But Boynton said she never gave up hope that she would be able to compete again.
“I never doubted myself,” she said. “I never even thought about quitting. When I got out of the hospital and everyone told me that you could have died there. You’re not supposed to be here right now, and you’re not supposed to be swimming with everything that has happened. That just made me stronger.”