Ken | WPT Patient Spotlight

“I have always been an active person. It’s hard enough as it is getting old, but old and inactive is a killer”.

These are the words of Ken, a patient at WPT. Ken has been a patient of ours for nine months and after following his story since last November, I knew I had to join him for a session of PT and fully understand how he got where he is now. Ken’s is a miraculous story about sickness, health, and the importance of maintaining hope.

On March 22nd, 2021, Ken was admitted into intensive care for COVID double pneumonia. During his time in intensive care, Ken suffered internal hemorrhaging which led to emergency surgery and being placed on both a ventilator for nine days and dialysis for two months. Things were looking extremely grim.

“I don’t really remember the time in the hospital but while I was on the ventilator, my daughter, who studies music and well being, would sing to me over the phone”, Ken told me. “A nurse would hold the FaceTime up to my face and she would sing to me.”

Ken would go onto have a few more complications including sepsis, infections, and multiple surgeries over the course of four months. But in July of 2021, Through nothing short of a miracle, Ken was admitted into impatient rehab and was ready to start his recovery journey.

“I didn’t think I was going to walk ever again,” Ken Said. “I had drop foot in both feet. I thought I would be confined to a bed for the rest of my life”.

With the cards stacked against him and a challenging road ahead, Ken did not back down; Ken chose to fight. After just a few months in impatient physical therapy, he was able to stand with a walker and began taking his first steps in 6 months. Ken was released from impatient care in October and was able to go home for the first time since he got Covid. Though mobile, this was not enough for Ken, this was just the beginning of his journey.

“I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to function like a human being. I felt weak and I was not ready to keep trying to get better”. During his time at the hospital, Ken lost 75 pounds and was lacking the strength he needed to resume what he considered a normal life. This is when Ken decided to call WPT.

Looking at Ken’s situation it was easy to know that this was not going to be a task taken lightly. He had substantial goals and a laundry list of reasons why achieving those goals would prove challenging; but we were up for that challenge.

Before every evaluation we do at WPT, we have patients fill out intake paperwork. One of the questions on the paperwork is to write down your goals for PT. On his intake paperwork, Ken wrote that he wanted to be able to play golf again. Golf had always been an interest of his and before COVID, he would play 3-4 times a week. Though it seems simple on the surface, when you really break down the mechanics of golfing, it requires a lot of coordination. There is a significant need for good balance and strength because standing is one thing, but swinging a weighted club while standing is a whole other beast. There is a level of strength that Ken needs to feel comfortable golfing. This is why during his care at WPT, Ken did Rotational movements, strength building for pelvis control, dynamic activities on uneven surfaces like grass, hills, and pebbles. He did pivot steps and worked on control of left foot that has more weakness.

In November of 2021, Ken walked into Wonsettler Physical Therapy with Braces on his legs and a walker in his hands. Today Ken left Wonsettler Physical Therapy without braces, without a walker, and with the same results driven attitude that is going to push him to accomplish all the new goals he has set for himself. This is the story of a man who never gave up, even when the odds were stacked against him and we could not be more proud of Ken and his journey.

Finding Freedom, Virginia’s Patient Spotlight

“You think I’m going to come to the lake and not try to catch a few fish?”

This was the first thing I heard Lenny say when I arrived at Cross Creek Lake a few weeks ago. Lenny was unloading some kayaks from his truck and grabbed his fishing pole to take along with him on the journey.

We were at the lake for one main reason, Virginia. Virginia is a patient at WPT who came in with a knee replacement and a few concerns at the beginning of her journey.

“When I found out I needed a knee replacement, the first thing that ran through my mind was that I am young. Is this something I really need? Is this going to benefit me? Is it going to work? These were all very real fears because I’ve never had a joint replacement. There was a lot of anxiety.”

A good amount of positivity can accompany a physical therapy journey. There is optimism, high hopes, and determination-turned-triumph. However, what can often be overlooked in a typical PT setting is the fear a patient may bring into their treatment; but WPT is not a typical PT setting. Understanding every aspect of how a patient is feeling better informs our decisions in how we go about treatment. Having a holistic idea of patient health is crucial to recovery, so Virginia’s concerns were met with compassion, not apathy.

During an initial evaluation, our physical therapists make sure to understand our patients goals for physical therapy. Goals can range from big to small, but it is important to understand them because it helps our PTs decide the best course of action to help our patients regain their freedom to move. In Virginia’s case, her main goal was to get back in a Kayak, unassisted.

In order to achieve this goal, we had to break down the motions. Lowering yourself into a kayak, pushing off, rowing, and getting out of a kayak are all motions that need a good amount of strength and coordination.

These actives, in conjunction with an abundance of other physical therapy techniques, assisted in Virginia’s ability to move freely. However, her goal was not to do exercises in a PT gym, her goal was to Kayak. So once Virginia’s strength was where it needed to be, it was time for the next phase of her PT journey and that is what brought us to Cross Creek Lake on Tuesday, 8/9.

Virginia arrived a few minutes after we got there and was as happy as can be. She was cracking jokes and enjoying her time during the set-up process. Before I could even get my camera out to snap some photos, Virginia had already lowered into the Kayak and was off onto the lake. This was the first time in a long while that Virginia had been on the water and her face said it all, she was smiling ear to ear. It was amazing to watch her float freely among the water, knowing that her goal had been achieved, Virginia was in her Kayak.

Today (about 2 weeks after our lake outing), I was chatting with Virginia and she told me that she has to get her other knee replaced. But this time she said she feels no anxiety. She is confident she’ll have a fast and successful recovery.

Virginia has a biking and Kayaking trip next spring and she is super excited for it.

“That is whats next. Thanks to you guys I got into my kayak and I’ll be back on my bike and getting back in shape”

Virginia’s story is an inspiration to us all at WPT and we are so proud of the journey she has been on and the accomplishments that she has achieved.

Melissa | Patient Spotlight

Starting over is scary; there is no doubt about it. Challenging yourself to overcome adversity and pull yourself up is no small feat, but for Melissa, it was a challenge she was ready to face.

In November of 2018, Melissa had a stroke that put her in the hospital for three weeks. When she left the hospital in December, she knew immediately that things were going to be different. “I had to relearn how to do everything again. I couldn’t walk or talk right; I had no control processing different things. Walking up and down the stairs, standing and sitting, really everything,” Mellisa said.

Melissa’s recovery journey started at a different PT clinic. Over the next few years, Melissa got to the point where she could walk without a walker, but she had to think about every motion.

“Nothing was second nature. It was like going back to being a toddler because I had to learn everything all over again.”

Melissa’s fear was that she would be in a situation where she wouldn’t be fully independent. Whether it be tending her land or recovering from a fall, Melissa wanted to have control of her life and feel unrestricted. In May of this year, Melissa saw an advertisement in the newspaper for WPT’s “If You’re 50+, You Need Muscles!” Workshop.

“I saw the ad in the paper and I knew I had to go. I talked to my Doctor and they thought it was a great idea. My husband and I came to the workshop and went through the cycles. One of them was to get down on the floor and then get back up. I realized I couldn’t do it. I thought my knees would break.”

But instead of taking this as a defeat, Melissa took it as a challenge. She inquired about physical therapy and after her evaluation, Melissa got right to work. Together, Tyra and Melissa focused on confidence. This included walking and balance tasks as well as generalized strength and mobility work. They gradually made the tasks more difficult by incorporating different obstacles, cognitive exercises, and surface types. As she was building confidence, Tyra and Melissa started to incorporate recovering from a fall and getting up from the ground safely.

“My care was incredible. Tyra found problems I didn’t even know I had, and guided me in the right direction to get better!”

Today and for the first time in years, Mellissa got onto the ground and stood up unassisted; an astonishing feat that she had deemed impossible just a few short months ago. With positivity and a results-driven attitude, Mellissa was able to achieve her goal.

Brian’s Journey: Overcoming Injuries and Regaining His Active Lifestyle with WPT

Meet Brian, a patient at WPT who has a history with physical therapy.

“Being an active person on the older side, various activities aggravated some previous injuries. I sought out PT to improve those issues.”

These issues prevented Brian from doing his daily activities around his farm and playing sports. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get back to 100%.

But then Brian met Lenny. Lenny customized a plan to fit his main issues and adjusted his program as certain things got better, adding exercises if things were not improving.

“Lenny didn’t just work on the troubled area, he made a plan to work on the whole system surrounding my injury. This helped me improve my strength, balance, flexibility, and anything else that he saw necessary.”

Thanks to WPT, Brian has the tools to maintain his active lifestyle and improve his overall health and activity level.

“I am certain that I would not be anywhere near the physical and mental shape that I am in now if I did not have PT. I have had many experiences with other physical therapists, but WPT is by far the best place that I have ever gone for treatment.”

Unbroken Spirit: Chuck’s Triumph at WPT

From a devastating motorcycle crash to reclaiming his freedom to move, Chuck’s journey at WPT has been nothing short of remarkable.

When a deer unexpectedly crossed his path last fall, Chuck found himself in a life-altering motorcycle accident. With seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a lacerated kidney, and a broken back, Chuck’s injuries were extensive. Adding to the complexity, his shoulder and hand were also shattered.

After spending days on life support, Chuck had an extensive stay through inpatient and outpatient therapy. Chuck was almost back to his normal life and routine, but there was one more issue he needed to resolve, his shoulder.

After talking to his wife, a former WPT patient, Chuck gave us a call.

“I got paired up with Mike and he put me to work immediately,” Chuck said. “I really believe that if it wasn’t for Mike, I would not have recovered my shoulder”

Chuck’s inspiring journey reminds us that even in the face of life-altering events, there is hope for recovery.

If you need guidance to help you regain your freedom to move, reach out to us. We are always happy to help!