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Meet the Member Amanda Johnson
Growing up, Amanda Johnson learned the important lessons of hard work and lending a helping hand where needed. “That’s just what I’ve always been taught; when someone needs something, you do what you can for them,” she says. That adage hit close to home this past December on an ordinary afternoon while practicing with a friend. Amanda’s horse fell over on her, fracturing her pelvis.
“I am blessed with great family and friends,” she says of her mom and dad, Gwen and Tubbs and sister, Emily, as well as Dr. Patrick Ellender of Ortho LA in Thibodaux. “Dr. Ellender helped get my Dad back in working order after he tore his bicep while tying calves a couple summers ago. I was certain he could help me too. He is just a great doctor!” says Amanda. After reviewing her x-rays, Dr. Ellender diagnosed her with a fractured acetabulum. She would require surgery. Performing surgery mostly for sports related injuries, Dr. Ellender knew a Specialist would best suit Amanda’s injury. Dr. Peter Krause, an Orthopedic Surgeon in New Orleans, who specializes in acetabular fractures, was the man for the job. “My surgery was scheduled; shortly after Dr. Ellender and Dr. Krause discussed my case. I had surgery on Christmas Eve and spent a couple of days in the hospital. Drs. Ellender and Krause assured me that everything was repairable and with a few months recovery, I would be back to normal.” says Amanda. “I had never been in an accident which required surgery so I was pretty shaken up when Dr. Ellender told me what was about to happen. Both of my doctors are phenomenal professionals. When I leave my check-up appointments, I tell them “Thank You”, but also want to tell them that I am forever grateful! They have confidently seen me through one of the most challenging personal experiences of my life!”
Amanda began roping after she had begun college at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA. Her dad had started roping again when Amanda and Emily found interest in the sport. “I just grew to love it. I learned what rodeo was being around friends who went up and down the road on a regular basis,” Amanda says, emphasizing, “I decided it was something I really wanted to try. I was around people who lived rodeo and did it with everything that they had. They had become successful and were willing to help me.” Above all, I want to thank God for the people I have met along the way. In my life, many friends have become family.” Amanda now rodeos every chance she gets when she’s not hard at work with the family business, A+ Lawn Service. In addition, her family prepares and provides tie down and breakaway calves for the CRA rodeos and other local events.
Rodeo has taught Amanda many life lessons; always be willing to learn and be responsible. Her dad reminds her that rodeo, like any sport, requires a strong mental game. “You have to be consistent in the way you handle the ups and the downs,” she says. Her mom reminds her that life requires the same school of thought.
Although Amanda is out of commission until the spring, competing as a breakaway roper in the Cajun Rodeo Association is never far from her mind.